The U.S. Embassy marked the end of the first phase in the construction of its new annex building with a “topping off” ceremony held at the construction site on the U.S. Embassy compound in Manila on Friday, May 18. The construction of the three-storey building is part of a $132-million project funded by the U.S. Department of State to improve the Embassy’s facilities in Manila and Pasay City.
U.S. Embassy Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. led Friday’s ceremony during which the new building was “topped-off” by placing a palm tree on the roof to signify the completion of basic structural construction.
The new office building’s interior will be completed in the coming months, and the building is slated to be ready for occupancy in the first half of 2013. The new Embassy building is the third major edifice to be constructed under the U.S. State Department’s multimillion-dollar project for U.S. Embassy Manila Last year, Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. inaugurated two new Embassy buildings, one on the Embassy compound in Pasay City, and another on the south portion of the Embassy’s Manila compound along Roxas Blvd. The building in Pasay houses offices and clinic facilities for the U.S. Veterans Administration, and the one in Manila now houses the Embassy’s Consular facility and other offices.
Twenty-eight U.S. Government agencies are represented at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, which is staffed by about 1,350 American and Filipino employees.
The contract to design and build the Embassy’s new facilities was awarded to the Makati Development Corporation. Since work began in 2007, the project has registered more than 9.1 million safe man-hours of work.