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The Shaw Group pulled up stakes in Los Alamos Thursday as its five-year contract to provide site support services for Los Alamos National Laboratory came to a close.
Movers removed the company’s furniture, office supplies and equipment from the third floor of the glass building at 135 Central Park Square and transported it all in three commercial moving vans to Albuquerque.
At the height of its contract, the Fortune 500 Company staffed and operated a 1,500-member workforce, not all from that location, but that performed operations, maintenance, main and service line disconnection, and utility tie-ins on all DOE-owned outside water distribution and wastewater utility systems.
The local operation had been winding down in recent months and there were between 25-30 employees left, according to corporate spokesperson Gentry Brann.
“It was a project office,” she said during a telephone interview from Baton Rouge Monday. “We notified all the employees in advance and moved some of them to Albuquerque, some to our offices in Denver and a couple to California.”
Those employees not absorbed by Shaw were assisted in finding jobs with other companies, she said.
“It’s (the move) really part of our long range plan,” Brann said. “It really didn’t make financial sense to keep the office open,” adding she wasn’t sure if the lease was up on the 12,000 square foot space or whether Shaw is subleasing to another company.
Building landlord Tom Netuschil explained in an interview this morning that the lease expires in a couple of months. “In these situations, we try to locate another tenant so they won’t have to pay for unoccupied space,” he said.
Both LANL public affairs and Los Alamos County Administrative offices occupy portions of the ground floor of the building. They are looking at the possibility of leasing the space, Netuschil said. “The county has an RFP out right now for almost exactly that amount of space,” he said. “They really need frontage for the public to access easier but they may be able to make other accommodations.”
What’s happening financially in the country is affecting the local climate and confidence by consumers to start spending is what it’s going to take to turn it around, he said.
“The market right now is very, very soft and a lot of our retail folks are retail folks are having a hard time,” Netuschil said. We really feel for them and our rents for those folks are about as low as they can go to maintain the facilities….”
The Shaw Group, founded in 1987, is headquartered in Baton Rouge, LA and as of Nov. 30 had revenues of $7 billion and a project backlog worth $14.8 billion, according to its website.
It began as a fabrication shop in Baton Rouge. The company has evolved into a diverse engineering, construction, technology, fabrication, environmental and industrial services organization with 26,000 employees in strategic locations around the world.
Shaw works in more than 150 locations and has operations in North America, South America, Europe, and the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.
Both LANL public affairs and Los Alamos County Administrative offices occupy portions of the ground floor of the building.