City Officials Participate in K-25 History Center Grand Opening

Feb 27, 2020 - Oak Ridge City Officials joined the U.S. Department of Energy at a public ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new K-25 History Center, located at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge. The new history center was created to honor the stories of the men and women who helped construct and operate the K-25 uranium enrichment complex that altered the global landscape during World War II and Cold War.

The grand opening, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management, featured remarks from several honorable guests including U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar, U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management Manager Jay Mullis, UCOR President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Rueter, and Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch.  In addition to Mayor Gooch, City Officials in attendance included City Councilmembers Chuck Hope, Kelly Callison, and Jim Dodson; City Manager Mark Watson, and Government Affairs Director Amy Fitzgerald.

Mayor Gooch delivered the following remarks at the event:

K-25 History Center Grand Opening
Remarks by Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch

February 27, 2020

Good morning, everyone! Thank you for being here. Great Things Happen in Oak Ridge Every Day, but Today -- is at the top of the list. You can literally feel the excitement for this grand opening - and Ladies and Gentlemen, that's because you are here!

I want to say a special word of thanks to Secretary Dabbar. He is a true friend to Oak Ridge. Mr. Secretary, we appreciate your friendship and support. I also want to recognize and thank Sean McGarvey, President of the North American Building Trades Union, and his members who have worked hand and hand with UCOR in the transformation of the K-25 site. I also want to thank Roane County Executive, Ron Woody, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, my colleagues on City Council and our City Manager, Mark Watson for their support.

This is a day that has long been anticipated, not only in Oak Ridge, but also across the state.

This new facility is a great asset and attraction for our community. The K-25 History Center presents a unique and powerful story that people from across the country will want to visit Oak Ridge, in order to see and feel history.

We are grateful to the DOE's Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management and UCOR for their efforts in constructing and opening this incredible facility. We also appreciate their efforts in coordinating with the consulting and signatory parties, including the City of Oak Ridge, on planning and designing this facility. The result is something we can all be very proud of, and a place that tells the K-25 story -- the right way.

The opening of this facility is the latest result of the strong partnership with DOE that began more than a decade ago when the Fire Station was transferred to the City. We continue to demonstrate efficiencies and savings to American taxpayers when we work together as intergovernmental partners. We are not only preserving the history of the Manhattan Project, but continuing the transformation of the East Tennessee Technology Park to include this heritage tourism destination.

You can feel the pride associated with the history of K-25 and making sure that story is saved and shared. But this fabulous facility is more than just preserving the inspiring story of past achievements.

 It is a testament to the thousands of men and women who worked at K-25 over the decades. They are extraordinary people and American heroes because of their selfless service and dedication to achieving what was necessary to save the world from tyranny. It will also be a powerful reminder to future generations that Oak Ridge is never asked to do things which are easy, but to do the things that are hard and required to protect freedom and to enhance the lives of people around the world. K-25 workers, we salute you. Job well done!

So now it's time for you to see it and enjoy it for yourself! If Secretary Dabbar, Jay Mullis, Ken Rueter, and President McGarvey, will join me- we'll cut the ribbon, and officially open the new K-25 History Center!