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Fermi breaks ground on new facility

Published: Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011 5:30 a.m. CST

BATAVIA – Fermilab officials hope that a new accelerator research facility will spark even more cutting-edge research.

Ground was broken Friday on the planned Illinois Accelerator Research Center, which is supported jointly by the Department of Energy and the state of Illinois. Bob Kephart, the center’s director, has high hopes for the facility.

“We hope it will create the next generation of scientists,” Kephart said. “The goal of the facility is to connect industry with the accelerator expertise at Fermilab.”

The new center, set for completion by the end of 2014, will house 42,000 square feet of technical, office and educational workspace for scientists and engineers from Fermilab, DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, local universities and industrial partners.  “A focused effort and strengthened partnerships between government and industry are required for the United States to remain competitive in accelerator science and technology,” Fermilab Director Pier Oddone said. “IARC will greatly enhance accelerator research and innovation at Fermilab and strengthen our capability to host new international projects. We will also broaden our economic impact on Illinois by working with industry and universities on advanced R&D with many commercial and scientific applications.”

The Illinois Jobs Now! capital bill provided $20 million to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to fund a grant for the design and construction of a new building that will form part of the IARC complex.

The DOE is also providing $13 million to Fermilab to refurbish an existing heavy industrial building that will be incorporated into the complex, adding 36,000 square feet of specialized workspace.

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