Oak Ridge, Tenn. – The Department of Energy’s cleanup contractor URS|CH2M Oak Ridge LLC (UCOR) has awarded three subcontracts totaling more than $5.3 million to construct, conduct site improvements, and fabricate and install exhibits for the K-25 History Center at the East Tennessee Technology Park.
The history center will occupy 7,500 square feet in the second floor of the existing, city-owned Oak Ridge Fire Station #4. The building is adjacent to the K-25 Building’s 44-acre footprint, which is now part of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The history center will include a theater and interactive galleries that display equipment, artifacts, and other media to highlight the site’s workers and numerous Manhattan Project and Cold War-era accomplishments.
UCOR awarded two subcontracts for construction and site improvements to North Wind Construction Services, LLC of Knoxville, Tennessee, and it awarded a third subcontract for exhibit fabrication and installation to Formations, Inc. of Portland, Oregon.
Construction responsibilities in the contract include partial demolition and installing an awning, a new entrance, and a new emergency exit. It also covers exterior and interior architectural work, electrical power, lighting, plumbing, HVAC, and an alarm system.
North Wind will also perform site improvements, which includes grading, utility connections, constructing a new parking area, installing concrete walkways, landscaping, installing exterior lighting, and historic signage.
Exhibits and displays fabricated by Formations, Inc. will feature graphics, audiovisuals, period artifacts, and workers’ oral histories.
The K-25 History Center, which is part of a larger historic preservation agreement that DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management signed in 2012 with local, state, and federal historic preservation partners, is scheduled to open in 2019. In the agreement, the agency is also responsible for constructing an Equipment Building and Viewing Tower next to the K-25 History Center. The Equipment Building will be a full size representative cross section of the former building, while the Viewing Tower will provide visitors a view of the site from 70 feet above the K-25 slab.
When crews finished constructing Building K-25 as part of the Manhattan Project in 1945, it was the largest structure in the world. Its size was rivaled only by the importance of its mission – to help end a global war. Uranium enrichment operations continued at the site until 1985, and the site was permanently shut down in 1987.
For more historical information about K-25, visit the K-25 Virtual Museum online at www.k-25virtualmuseum.org.