Master planning

Fermilab Director
Pier Oddone

I’ve devoted many Director’s Corners to the scientific vision for Fermilab, laying out the path toward a world-leading set of facilities at the Intensity Frontier. This path, which starts from our current facilities and neutrino experiments, goes through NOvA and the muon campus, and continues on to the Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment and Project X, became even clearer yesterday with DOE’s granting of CD-1 approval to the first phase of LBNE.

But in order to meet our long-term scientific goals, we must also develop clear long-term goals for the development of the Fermilab site. This is the job of a new task force that has been established to develop a campus master plan. Such a plan will describe a set of guiding principles for the laboratory to follow as we imagine the future of Fermilab programmatically, functionally, aesthetically and environmentally.

Creating this plan will be no easy feat. The last time Fermilab produced a comprehensive master plan for the site was more than three decades ago. Many things have happened since that time, including the construction of the Main Injector, the NuMI and MiniBooNE neutrino beamlines and the deactivation of the Tevatron and some fixed-target beamlines. Moving from the Fermilab of today to the laboratory we want to have in 20 years will require careful analysis and far-reaching thinking.

As we look to the future, programmatically we want to have the kind of aspirational and inspirational environment that fosters collaboration, allows us to tackle powerful experiments on our site and at remote locations, and preserves the ability to lead at the Energy Frontier in the future. Functionally, we need to understand the most effective use of the various areas and functions of our site. One project already planned with DOE is the consolidation of the village shops in the industrial areas. Other ideas abound, including specially designed and optimized facilities for engineering and detector R&D.

Aesthetically we need to preserve the beauty of the site. The landscape is one of our greatest assets and it needs to harmonize with the facilities and buildings that we must build to carry out our research program. Environmentally we have to develop the site in a way that is sustainable, with energy-efficient buildings, minimal energy and water use, managed and minimized tritium when it results from high-intensity operations, and the use of agricultural operations and restored prairie to enhance the environment.

All this makes for a greatly interesting and challenging effort. I am very appreciative of the work carried out so far by FESS and task force members, as well as by University of Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology architects who are bringing their skill and experience to our site planning.