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"Today, Mayor Bloomberg and I convened a meeting with rebuilding officials which included the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the Port Authority, the New York City Police Department, and Larry Silverstein. The meeting was productive and an important step forward in achieving our rebuilding plans for Lower Manhattan and the construction of the Freedom Tower. "What emerged from the meeting was a renewed commitment to realization of the Freedom Tower as a bold symbol of the rebuilding.
"A consensus also emerged that a new design for the Freedom Tower is required in order to meet NYPD's security standards. We believe that a building that meets the NYPD standards can be built consistent with Daniel Libeskind's Master Site Plan. Larry Silverstein's team will continue to work with the NYPD over the course of the next several weeks. I have no doubt that David Childs will come up with yet another magnificent design that will once again inspire the nation and serve as a fitting tribute to freedom.
"At the meeting, the Mayor and I also discussed the tremendous progress already made and next steps in the rebuilding. We outlined shared priorities for allocations of the remaining Lower Manhattan Development Corporation funds that will help revitalize the community. We discussed how to maximize Federal Transportation Administration funding in order to ensure a seamless transportation network for downtown.
"A new design for the Freedom Tower is not impeding any of our other rebuilding progress. Construction of the memorial, which remains the centerpiece of our efforts, is scheduled to begin in early 2006. Michael Arad and Peter Walker's design for a moving memorial is being taken from concept to construction. Designs for a vibrant cultural center at the site are nearing completion. The Memorial Foundation is continuing its impressive fundraising in order to support the construction of the memorial and two new cultural buildings. The new World Trade Center Transit Hub will move forward with its scheduled groundbreaking as planned.
"We have an obligation to move forward with the rebuilding in a deliberative and responsible way. Thanks to the efforts of Mayor Bloomberg and our rebuilding partners, we will continue the great progress being made in Lower Manhattan and construct the Freedom Tower with a new design which will make our city and nation proud."