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From the Director: Improving our Infrastructure—The SLI Project

SLAC site map planned for the end of 2014
SLAC site map planned for the end of 2014. (Click for larger image.)

The goal of the Department of Energy's Science Laboratories Infrastructure program is to maintain the general purpose infrastructure at the 10 Office of Science laboratories. The SLI program supports the science mission of the labs by funding line item construction, general plant projects, and cleanup and removal of excess facilities. Started in 2004, the program is the largest initiative to improve infrastructure since the labs were built.

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory submitted a major SLI proposal last year. As we make the transition from our single program past to our multi-program future, we need modern infrastructure to support an aligned workforce dedicated to achieving our laboratory mission. The mission need for the project was approved and it is moving forward.

The most critical infrastructure need is modern space sufficient to allow co-location of the Accelerator Science and Technology programs at the lab. Currently these functions are largely distributed by mission, and the laboratory infrastructure does not facilitate communication and cross-program activities. In addition, current space is outdated and not helpful for attracting and retaining top quality staff.

In addition, the laboratory is reorganizing and modernizing its mission support functions. Our SLI project will demolish about 35 trailers and substandard buildings, partially renovate Buildings 3, 24 and 41, and construct a new 56,000 square foot Research Support Building. The attached picture shows the affected buildings. Summed up, the SLI will impact 500–600 staff members across the lab by the time of its completion in 2014. This is a big deal!

The Linac Coherent Light Source Directorate and Facilities Department in Operations are working hard to ensure that this project stays on track. The Facilities Subcouncil is quite active in looking at scenarios to reprogram SLAC office space through the SLI project. As the design evolves, there will be adjustments to the programming, and the Facilities Subcouncil will provide regular briefings to the associate laboratory directors. We want to make sure that we optimize the utilization of this new investment in SLAC!

—Persis Drell
SLAC Today, January 16, 2009