Source: Knoxville News Sentinel | Brittany Crocker | February , 2018
Plans for a history center at the former site of the Manhattan Project-era K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Oak Ridge are moving forward.
UCOR, the Department of Energy’s cleanup contractor for the site, has awarded three subcontracts totaling more than $5.3 million for construction, site improvements and building 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 No. 4.
The building is adjacent to the footprint of the old K-25 building, which was once the largest building in the world. Uranium enrichment operations continued at the site until 1985, and the site was permanently shut down in 1987.
The history center will include a theater and interactive galleries that display equipment, artifacts, and other media to highlight the site’s workers and the work during the Manhattan Project and Cold War-era.
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.
North Wind is responsible for partial demolition services 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, an alarm system, and site improvement work like grading, utility connections, and parking and accessibility work.
Formations Inc. will create exhibits and displays that use graphics, audiovisuals, period artifacts and workers’ oral histories.
The K-25 History Center 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, and the viewing tower will provide visitors a view of the site from 70 feet above the K-25 building’s concrete footprint.
For more historical information about K-25, visit the K-25 Virtual Museum online at www.k-25virtualmuseum.org.