Though no local elected official or community leader supports it, the Navy announced on Wednesday that it is no longer delaying a plan to strip the siding off of historic Hangar One and leave behind a bare skeletal structure.
Navy project manager Kathryn Stewart made the announcement in an e-mail Wednesday, saying that the Navy will soon be awarding a contract to de-skin Hangar One despite a pending judgment from the White House Office of Management and Budget on how the Navy and NASA will cooperate in restoring the structure's siding.
Congresswoman Anna Eshoo quickly opposed the move with a letter to Navy secretary Ray Mabus, which reiterates a message communicated to the Navy by the Mountain View City Council and the Moffett Field Restoration Advisory Board.
"I ask for your written commitment and assurance that the Navy will not move forward ... until there is a plan in place to re-skin Hangar One," Eshoo wrote. "This can't be developed until OMB decides which agency is responsible for the re-skinning."
The Navy says it will lose money from its budget if a deadline isn't met to award the contract for removing the siding. The hangar's siding is laden with asbestos and PCBs, and its removal is part of the former Naval base's environmental cleanup efforts.
In a statement this morning, NASA Ames deputy director Deb Feng did not reveal details on the restoration negotiations going on this week, but said "NASA is continuing discussions with Office of Management and Budget personnel and continues to be optimistic that an equitable resolution with the Navy on Hangar One will be reached in the foreseeable future."