The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM) in Grand Junction, Colorado, acquired an 18,900-square-foot building on April 11, 2018, through a no-cost federal-to-federal transfer that maximized resources to meet LM’s increasing workload.
“Any real property acquisition is complicated,” said LM Director Carmelo Melendez. “And especially federal-to-federal transfers for office, warehouse, and industrial spaces. We were very fortunate to complete this transfer in less than two years and at no-cost, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars, which will be allocated towards our current mission goals.”
Building 7 was built on a 55.7-acre campus in 1951 as a sampling plant for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission’s Colorado Raw Materials Office. The land was originally purchased by the U.S. Government in 1943 for a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Manhattan Project uranium refinery.
In 2001 DOE transferred most of the Grand Junction campus to Riverview Technology Corporation (RTC), a business-development nonprofit. LM continues to work from leased space on site. DOE remediated—at a cost of about $1 million—and transferred Building 7 and nearly 8 acres to the U.S. Army Reserve. The 244th Engineer Battalion, Company A, Detachment 1, occupied the building until 2015. It has been empty since that time.
Building 7 appraised at $1.4 million.
“The acquisition of this building is important because it provides additional workspace for LM’s mission in the Grand Junction office, which has increased over the years as expected,” Melendez said. “We have gone from managing 33 legacy sites to 92 legacy sites, and will soon manage 96 sites. This workspace will provide the combined LM and LM Support contractor team suitable space now and in the future.”
Some 270 LM and LM Support staff work at the Grand Junction office site, with more hires expected. Operations include long-term surveillance and maintenance of legacy sites, and the Defense-Related Uranium Mine (DRUM) Program, which works in cooperation with federal land management agencies and state abandoned mine lands programs to verify and validate the condition of 2,500 DRUM sites by 2022.
Bud Sokolovich, LM Asset Management Team Lead, said the next step for utilization of Building 7 is to develop a master plan that integrates with existing walkways and greenspaces. “We want to partner and make that whole campus successful as much as we can,” he said of the larger RTC campus. “That’s the vision for the future.”