FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2003
MESA, Sandia’s largest project ever, formally breaks ground
Opening ceremony for futuristic technology defense center
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — On Tuesday, Aug. 19, US Department of Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and National Nuclear Security Administrator Linton Brooks will join New Mexico Senators Pete Domenici (R) and Jeff Bingaman (D) and Rep. Heather Wilson (R) along with senior management from Sandia National Laboratories for an official groundbreaking ceremony from 11:00-11:30 a.m. for Sandia’s $462.5 million MESA complex.
Sandia participants in the ceremony, which will take place in a large tent erected near the construction site, include Sandia President C. Paul Robinson, Senior Vice President for Defense Programs Tom Hunter, Vice President for National Security and Arms Control Al Romig, and Director of the MESA Program Don Cook. [MESA is an acronym for Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications.]
Media interested in attending should call Iris Aboytes, 505-844-2282, to provide clearance information. Vehicles will enter at 10:30 a.m. from the contractor’s gate on Eubank Blvd, just south of the main Eubank entrance gate. Drivers should expect their vehicles to be searched and arrive no later than 10:10 a.m. Sound plug-ins for TV and radio will be available, as will B-roll and printed information about the MESA project. Because of the tight schedule of Secretary Abraham and Senator Domenici, no press conference will be held, but some participants will remain available for post-ceremony interviews.
MESA is the largest project that Sandia has ever undertaken. An “under-ground-breaking” ceremony held last year celebrated the installation of utility lines. Thus far, $200 million has been appropriated for engineering design, microelectronic tool upgrades, utilities construction, and work in progress. Two of three building construction contracts have been awarded for a total of $83 million, with approximately $58 million subcontracted to New Mexico businesses. Upon projected completion in 2008, three major facilities are expected to house 648 researchers (including some from industry and academia) in 391,000 square feet of space. The project, with its widespread research base, is expected to bring increased travel to Albuquerque that will utilize hotels, restaurants, and other facilities.
The three buildings that formally comprise the project — a microfabrication facility, a microlaboratory, and a weapons integration facility — are expected to include advanced visualization labs and ‘clean’ rooms, with the basic purpose of helping modernize safety, security, and reliability functions of the U.S. nuclear deterrent and contribute to other national security missions.
The adjacent construction of an advanced computing facility and a nanotechnology center to be built just north of Sandia’s Eubank gate means that an unusually capable and interrelated group of scientific facilities will be available for scientists from the Labs and industry, as well as for university faculty and students.
Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness. Sandia is a National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory.
Sandia media contact:
Neil Singer, email@example.com, 505-845-7078