OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (Aug. 29, 2016) – Distinguished officials participated in a groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 25 at the U.S. Department of Energy Y-12 National Security Complex’ New Hope Center for the new Construction Support Building.
The three-story, 64,800-square-foot building will provide a combination of office and warehouse space and is the first permanent structure being constructed as part of the Uranium Processing Facility project.
Lt. Col. Stephen Murphy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander, emphasized the importance of the great partnership the Corps enjoys with the Department of Energy at Oak Ridge and noted that the district’s construction team is ready to get the project underway.
“Every great effort, every great project like this one, 10 year - $6.5 billion master plan here for UPF, requires teamwork and cooperation. That’s no surprise,” Murphy said. “And teamwork and cooperation requires communication and commitment to it.”
Murphy said on behalf of the Corps of Engineers that the organization and entire construction team is committed to the project and is proud of a rich history of supporting the work at Y-12.
The Nashville District completed site preparation work for the Bear Creek Road and bridge construction and potable waterline relocation in March 2015, and has provided support for about a dozen other projects in the past decade.
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, DOE undersecretary for Nuclear Security and National Nuclear Security Administration administrator, said this milestone is the result of a team effort, with a long list of players.
“We’re here because of a lot of partnerships, most importantly I think our partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” Klotz said. “This is truly federal government at its best and the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense working very closely together.”
Klotz said when the UPF project is completed it will become an asset for national security for decades to come.
“And the Construction Support Building, the CSB, is a key element in the site infrastructure sub project, the second of seven sub projects, that will ultimately lead to the completion of the Uranium Processing Facility,” Klotz said.
The CSB will provide an on-site location for management and support of the craft laborers that are needed for the complexities of building the UPF. It will be available to house UPF operational and support personnel when the UPF is complete.
“This is not rocket science,” Klotz added. “It’s even harder. It’s nuclear science.”
Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, representing Tennessee’s 3rd District, which includes Oak Ridge, attended the event and said Oak Ridge has a great history of teamwork, beginning with the Manhattan Project during World War II.
The Congressman, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee and its Energy and Water Subcommittee, said the future remains bright at Oak Ridge, and the teamwork involved with constructing the new Uranium Processing Facility, which includes the new Construction Support Building, is a big part of that.
“Not all federal projects work this way,” Fleischmann said. “Many times they don’t get done and sometimes they are over budget. We’re on time here. We’re under budget and we’re doing it right.”
Fleischmann stressed that the country is building one of the best facilities in the world for uranium processing. It’s not for Republicans or Democrats – it’s for the American people, he said.
“If we stay together and work together we can continue to exemplify the past this community has had of getting things done and bring that legacy of greatness into the future,” Fleischmann added.
Congressman Jim Cooper, representing Tennessee’s 5th District, also attended the event as the ranking member of the subcommittee on Strategic Forces on the House Armed Services Committee, which oversees the nation’s strategic weapons, ballistic missile defense, space programs, and DOE national security programs.
Cooper said this continuing investment is absolutely vital to the security of the planet and the progress of science.
“I’m interested in both,” Cooper said. “I am so hopeful that not only Oak Ridge continues to have a bright future, but our nation will be strong because projects like this have complete bipartisan support. This is not subject to politics. This is not subject to petty argument. This is vital for the country and we’re full speed ahead.”
Distinguished officials departed the New Hope Center at the conclusion of the ceremony and then took part in the official groundbreaking at the site of the $19 million Construction Support Building.
Dale Christenson, Federal Project director at the UPF Project Office, said he’s appreciative of how the Corps of Engineers is supporting this important work.
“I really appreciate how the Corps has come beside us over the last several years, and it’s great to see folks from all of the different districts that have supported us,” Christenson said. “It’s been a tremendous, great team effort and we’ve done a lot to build as a team and work together with the Corps and our CNS (Consolidated Nuclear Security) partners as well.”
The Corps of Engineers is a valuable partner because of its ability to efficiently deliver project and construction management support to assist DOE with accomplishing its mission. USACE draws on resources across the nation to meet DOE requirements. For instance, the Nashville District has been coordinating with the Albuquerque District and Tulsa District, which also work at DOE project sites, to incorporate lessons learned to improve customer services and strengthen partnerships.
Drawing on the design/build expertise in the Louisville District, the cost engineering and program management abilities in the Huntington District, and the project/construction proficiency in the Nashville District, the Corps of Engineers is ready to collaborate with the Uranium Project Office, the contractor and all team members to get this construction project underway, Murphy said.
The contractor for the project is Korte Construction Company, headquartered in Highland, Ill. The new Construction Support Building is expected to be completed in November 2017. It will be LEED Gold Certified, the first at the Y-12 project.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED certification means healthier, more productive places, reduced stress on the environment by encouraging energy and resource-efficient buildings, and decreased utility costs. LEED Gold is determined by fulfilling credits and points based on materials used that effect human health and the environment, and other factors such as water efficiency.
“It’s a more energy efficient building… It’s indicative of DOE’s commitment to environmental stewardship,” Murphy said.
(For more information about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, visit the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps, and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)