Community Liaison Council Meeting Minutes — Thursday, September 15, 2022

Opening Remarks

Amy Blackburn, Office of Communications & Public Liaison (OCPL), Office of the Director (OD), NIH

Ms. Blackburn opened the meeting at 4:05 p.m.

Staff Changes

Ms. Blackburn introduced Acting Associate Director for Communications and Public Liaison Renate Myles. The role was previously held by John Burklow, who is now the acting chief of staff in the Office of the Director of NIH.

Ms. Myles reviewed senior staff changes at NIH:

  • Francis Collins stepped down as NIH director in December 2021, after 12 years in the role. The NIH director is a presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed role. Lawrence Tabak was named the acting NIH director on December 9 and will remain the acting NIH director until a new director is appointed and confirmed.
  • Norman Sharpless stepped down as National Cancer Institute (NCI) director in April 2022. Now Douglas Lowy is the acting director of NCI. The NCI director is presidentially appointed but not Senate confirmed. President Biden has announced his intention to appoint Monica Bertagnolli as the new NCI director.
  • Anthony Fauci will step down as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the end of the year.
  • Michael Gottesman retired as the deputy director of intramural research, and Nina Schor is now the acting deputy director of intramural research.

Minutes Review

Ms. Blackburn presented the minutes from the previous meeting for approval. CLC members had no objections or changes to the minutes.

NIH Road Closures, Construction

Brad Moss, Office of Research Services (ORS), Office of Research Facilities (ORF), OD, NIH

Mr. Moss reviewed upcoming construction and traffic changes on the NIH campus:

  • Ground has been broken for a new wing of the Vaccine Research Center.
  • The construction of a new patient parking lot facility is almost complete. The structure will include a utility vault with backup power for the hospital; that work is still underway.
  • Ground will be broken in early 2023 for construction of the new hospital wing for surgery, radiology, and laboratory medicine. Construction of the new hospital wing is predicted to take about six years. Construction workers will park in MLP-14,  the new patient parking garage that was just built.

Mr. Moss presented, a website where employees and community members can use to view the impacts of construction projects on campus and local traffic patterns. The website details mitigation strategies taken at NIH to reduce the traffic impacts of campus construction.

  • Maggie Dittemore asked whether pedestrian entrances on Old Georgetown Road will be affected. Mr. Moss said that the gate at Center Drive and Old Georgetown Road will be closed, but the gates at the firehouse and South Drive will remain open.
  • Ginny Miller asked whether NIH will be able to control the Lincoln Drive traffic light and what the impact will be on ambulances in traffic. Mr. Moss said that NIH does not control the traffic lights but will ask the state and county to revisit traffic light timing.
  • Ms. Miller asked how the two lanes at the Lincoln Drive entrance will affect traffic on Old Georgetown Road. She is concerned about traffic congestion at times of ingress and egress. Ms. Roberts said that NIH cars will be able to get off of the road faster. Mr. Moss said that NIH is sharing information about the Lincoln Drive expansion with state and county officials so that they can make traffic decisions accordingly.

NLM Plaza Renovation

Susan Roberts, ORF, OD, NIH

Ms. Roberts said that the plans for renovation of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) plaza and playground have been submitted to the National Capital Planning Commission.

The NLM plaza deck will be waterproofed, because an occupied space and the NLM data center are below the plaza. ORF plans to replace the hardscape and the landscaping, because the current plaza has deteriorated and the landscaping is overgrown. Ms. Roberts presented the plan for the new plaza. The overall layout of the plaza will remain the same. ORF will work with NLM to choose furniture for the space so that the plaza is used and enjoyed.

Ms. Roberts presented the anticipated schedule for the plaza renovation. Award and start dates are subject to funding availability.

  • 100% Design Submission in September 2022
  • Construction Mobilization in March 2023
  • Occupancy in May 2024

Building 64 Playground Renovation

Susan Roberts, ORF, OD, NIH

Ms. Roberts presented the Building 64 playground renovation plan. The project will be paid for by the Parents of Preschoolers, Inc., which runs the childcare center, to ensure that the playground meets Maryland accreditation requirements.

Ms. Roberts presented photographs of the current playground, which has runoff issues, free root systems, old concrete under pavilions, and outdated equipment. She then presented the project designers’ site plan and a rendering of the proposed playground. The design includes shade structures, play equipment for infants and toddlers, and new equipment for younger and older preschoolers. The rendering did not show trees that provide privacy to the playground.

Ms. Roberts presented the anticipated schedule for the playground renovation. Award and start dates are subject to funding availability.

  • 100% Design Submission in August 2022
  • Construction Mobilization in Spring 2023
  • Completion in Fall 2023

The Children’s Inn Master Plan

Brian Schmoyer, The Children’s Inn at NIH; and Carl Knutson, Perkins&Will

Mr. Schmoyer said The Children’s Inn at NIH, a nonprofit on the NIH campus, has been working on a master plan and schematic design, to be fully funded by The Children’s Inn donors. Mr. Schmoyer introduced Mr. Knutson, an architect at Perkins&Will who is working on the project.

Mr. Knutson presented the plans to renovate The Inn with an addition to the front and southeast corners. The addition will create a new courtyard bounded by new guest rooms, an entry lobby, multipurpose rooms, and office space. The first-level renovation will improve administration areas, programming areas, and the overall guest experience. The second-level renovation will add guest rooms and a new entry that will connect The Children’s Inn to Building 10.

Mr. Knutson presented a schedule for the Children’s Inn Master Plan process:

  • Design Development Kickoff in September 2022
  • 35% Design Development Submission in December 2022
  • 65% Construction Document Submission in April 2023
  • 95% Construction Document Submission in October 2023
  • 100% Construction Document Submission in November 2023

Mr. Schmoyer said that the Children’s Inn team and Perkins&Will conducted interviews with families who stay at The Inn to inform the schematic design. The Inn has hosted families from 95 countries who have different accommodation needs. The Inn’s solution is a multi-flex guest apartment that can accommodate almost any family free of charge.

Community Discussion

Ms. Miller thanked Dr. Fauci and NIH on behalf of the CLC.


Ms. Blackburn adjourned the meeting at 4:56 p.m.

Next Meeting: TBD


CLC Members

Ginny Miller, Wyngate Citizens Association
Jennette Wade, Whitehall Condominium Association
Maggie Dittemore, Bradley Hills Village


Amy Blackburn, OCPL
Renate Myles, OCPL
Brad Moss, ORF/Office of Research Services (ORS)/OD
Susan Roberts, ORF/OD
Sharon Robinson, Office of Community Liaison
Brian Schmoyer, The Children’s Inn at NIH
Carl Knutson, Perkins&Will
Rod Letonja, Perkins&Will

This page last reviewed on January 26, 2023