Lab makes another bid for new science complex

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By Roger Snodgrass

Los Alamos National Laboratory will hold a bidder’s conference Tuesday, looking for new kind of developer for an overdue project that is trying once again to get off the ground.

“This is absolutely key to us,” said Terry Wallace, the lab’s senior science administrator, during a recent interview. He was talking about the lab’s determination to find a better workplace for hundreds of scientists who are now scattered around the 40 square miles of campus in what is general acknowledged to be inadequate, overcrowded, and inefficient old buildings and transportable structures.

“Of our 9 million square feet, the great majority, perhaps 80 percent, was built in the ’50s,” he said. “It’s not cost effective. It’s not allowing us to do an awful lot of things we’d like to be doing.”

Reviving efforts that began in earnest four years ago, the project will attempt once again to provide modern, state-of-the-art laboratory and workspace for about 1,400 scientists, Wallace said.

There may be a few bumps in the road.

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