People Are Talking

Conceptual drawing for buildout of Berkeley Lab 2nd campus at Alameda Point

People are talking—talking enthusiastically about the possibility that the University of California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab will build its second campus at Alameda Point.  But while many of us have been talking enthusiastically amongst ourselves, now there’s an opportunity to let the Lab know firsthand how we feel.

The Lab has chosen sites in Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Richmond as short-list finalists and will soon be meeting with each contender.  How well they are received will play an important part in their final decision.  The meeting with the City of Alameda is Wednesday, July 13.  Invite your friends and neighbors for a public conversation with Lab representatives at the Auctions by the Bay Theater at Alameda Point, 2700 Saratoga Street.  The meeting starts at 7 p.m., but you can also attend a city-hosted barbeque beforehand at 6 p.m. across the street from the theater.  Pick up your lawn or window sign there and continue to voice your support for bringing the Lab to Alameda Point.

Not to be confused with the Lawrence Livermore Lab, which focuses on classified security issues, the Lawrence Berkeley Lab conducts unclassified research on solving global problems in human health, technology, energy and the environment.  For instance, the city’s recent Alameda Point sustainability workshop included a presentation on the Lab’s Carbon Cycle 2.0 initiative in which the Lab will provide its resources to create innovative ways of reducing out-of-balance emissions of carbon into the atmosphere.

first phase in orange, second phase in yellow

The City of Alameda is offering the Lab a parcel of land at Alameda Point at no cost.  The city has also enlisted a development team, Mission Bay Development Group and Edgemoor Real Estate Services, for the Lab that has previous experience working with a UC Research Campus (Mission Bay).  The team understands the parties’ long-term needs and has a proven track record in public/private partnerships.  They have a special master infrastructure team to handle utility installation and roads, as well as the Lab’s construction needs.

Other than the Richmond Field Station owned by UC, the other contenders are private entities that have chosen not to make public their offers or negotiations.  We need to show the Lab that we have an entire city behind our proposal, and we would welcome their phased expansion plans on the 46-acre site and work with them every step of the way.  Alameda Point is on the upswing with approved and pending development plans.  We have a great city, a great plan, and we can demonstrate unified, widespread public support to help close the deal.

The Lab will make a public announcement on its preferred site in November 2011.  Let’s give ‘em something to talk about after July 13.

Originally published in Alameda Sun.

Voice your support on the City of Alameda Facebook Page.

Related reading:  Bring Berkeley Lab 2 Alameda Point and Alameda Point Info and here.  I also wrote about this topic in March 2011.

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