Richmond's winning bid in the competition to be selected as the site of a second Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory campus was greeted with near-universal joy in the city, which has struggled for decades with unemployment and poverty.
Now comes the details.
A community workshop to discuss plans for the Richmond Bay Campus of the lab is set for 7 p.m. July 26 at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium. The gathering will be one of dozens of public and private meetings between residents, city leaders and lab officials over the coming months.
Councilman Tom Butt said interest is high, and the public meetings should be a good way to stay abreast of the process.
"It's an opportunity for people to get updated, get engaged, and find out how they can best benefit from all that the lab is going to bring to Richmond," he said.
Early plans call for a two-million-square-foot complex at the 120-acre Richmond Field Station, on a site owned by UC Berkeley on the city's southern shoreline.
The facility will house more than 800 scientists doing research in bioscience, cancer, bioenergy and other cutting-edge work. Construction has not yet begun, but plans call for the facility to be operational by 2016.
During the competition to select a site, developers from eight cities submitted 21 proposals. Richmond emerged as the pick, and now is set to host one of the biggest building projects in the East Bay in decades.
"We want employees at the lab to live in Richmond and people who live in Richmond to get jobs with or because of the lab," Councilman Corky Booze said. "We want to keep as many of these dollars in the community as possible."
The July 26 workshop is free and open to the public, and billed as a chance to learn about the project from UC and LBNL officials and offer input.
Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726. Follow him at Twitter.com/roberthrogers