New Work for the Roanoker’s 40th Anniversary Issue: What $82 Million Can (And Didn’t) Do for Roanoke’s $14 Million Poff Building

The $14 million Richard H. Poff Federal Building was heralded as part of Roanoke’s “new era” in the inaugural issue of The Roanoker in the fall of 1974.

A photo of the under-construction, 14-story tower ran alongside a cover-story essay by Founder/Publisher Richard Wells that cited the new federal building as part of downtown Roanoke’s reinvention.

No longer.

Today, the structure has become a different kind of symbol: One of governmental waste, malpractice and bureaucracy.

“It’s a slap in the face of the taxpayers,” says 6th District Congressman Bob Goodlatte.

The Poff Federal Building was selected for a $51 million renovation project funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the federal stimulus.

But through a mix of mind-bogglingly bad (and allegedly illegal) bid management, cost overruns and all-around poor planning, the project cost has escalated to more than $80 million.

Read more at the story’s home on the Roanoker website, or find the full digital version here.