A new facility that will assist Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers in conducting analyses of national security threats from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction took a major step toward reality today.
With Rep. Ellen Tauscher, University of California Vice-President John McTague, Laboratory Director Bruce Tarter and others wielding shovels, ground was broken for the International Security Research Facility.
The new two-story building, set for the west side of the Laboratory, will consolidate Livermore's nonproliferation and intelligence-related operations into a single building. It will also replace the current main building that is about 40 years old and lacks the needed infrastructure for digital communication.
"International security research is a growing area of the Laboratory's nonproliferation mission," said Wayne Shotts, associate director for the Nonproliferation, Arms Control and International Security (NAI) directorate. "This new facility will allow us to bring together the broad spectrum of Laboratory disciplines, from bioscience and chemistry to nuclear science and engineering, that is vital to the nation's effort to assess and counter threats to international security."
The 64,000-square-foot building will house NAI's International Assessments Program, plus other areas of the Laboratory involved in global security, and counterproliferation research and analysis. The total budget for the building is about $25 million.
"The International Security Research Facility will help the Laboratory meet the U.S. intelligence community's growing need for accurate and timely expert analysis about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," said Melanie Elder, leader of the International Assessments Program. "The demand for these assessments has accelerated dramatically since the Sept. 11 attacks."
Laboratory international security research assists the Department of Energy as well as other federal agencies, the U.S. military forces and senior policy makers.
"The Laboratory provides a broadly informed, multidisciplinary resource to the intelligence community and policy programs," said John Illige, deputy leader of the International Assessments Program. "This facility will allow us to apply cutting-edge information technology tools to our work."
The International Security Research Facility will incorporate offices for 180 workers, along with conference rooms, video teleconference facilities, an extensive document library, a graphics lab, digital photo lab and print plant.
Benicia-based Lathrop Construction Associates Inc. has been awarded the contract to construct the new building during the next 16 to 18 months. Occupancy is expected in late 2004. The facility was designed by the San Francisco-based architectural firm of Edward J. Gee & Associates.
Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.
Laboratory news releases and photos are also available electronically on the World Wide Web of the Internet at URL http://www.llnl.gov/PAO and on UC Newswire.