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UC Selects Richmond Site For New Berkeley Lab's Campus

RICHMOND (CBS SF) - The University of California announced Monday that it has chosen a site in Richmond as the preferred home for a second campus of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which the university manages.

The Richmond Field Station, which is owned by the university, beat out five other East Bay locations that had been vying to house the second campus, which is expected to create jobs and bring in local revenue.

The site is located on Seaver Avenue, off of Meade Street, near Interstate 580.

Most of the Berkeley Lab's 4,200 employees work at the lab's main facility in the Berkeley hills, but about 20 percent of them work at leased facilities scattered around the East Bay. Lab officials have said a second campus would save money by consolidating those facilities.

More than 20 cities and developers proposed locations for the second campus, and university officials narrowed the proposals down to six finalists last year.

The finalists were the Richmond site; Alameda Point in Alameda; Aquatic Park West in Berkeley; Brooklyn Basin in Oakland; properties in Emeryville and West Berkeley that are currently occupied by the lab; and Golden Gate Fields.

University officials say construction of the second campus will take about four years, and that they hope to move researchers into the new site by mid-2016.

Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos said in a statement, "Each city, community, and their developer partners presented extremely thoughtful and well-formulated proposals for us to consider, for which we are deeply grateful."

Alivisatos said, "While we can only pick one site, we hope that the new relationships we've made will continue to help us foster excitement in science. The enthusiasm is wonderful affirmation of the desire of the entire East Bay to be part of developing scientific solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing our society."

Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay called the announcement a "great bit of news."

He released a statement thanking the Richmond City Council, city employees, and the Richmond community for "providing the warm welcome mat that was undoubtedly a major factor in their decision."

Congressman George Miller, D-Martinez, said in a statement this morning he is "thrilled" by the lab's decision.

"This is the decision we were hoping for, and it is the right decision for the Lab, for Richmond, and for the East Bay," Miller said.

He said, "The Berkeley Lab's announcement that its second campus will be built in Richmond means new jobs for our community now and in the long term, new educational opportunities for our students, and more innovations and new discoveries for our country."

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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