It has been easy to identify the circular Main Ring from the air while flying into O’Hare or even from photographs taken from space. Lining the inside of the ring are 35 small buildings that supplied the electrical power, cooling water, vacuum systems and controls to the magnets in the tunnel below. With the construction of the superconducting Tevatron, 24 smaller buildings were perched on top of the dirt shielding berm to supply the cryogenic liquids to the magnets. On Sept. 30, 2011, the Tevatron systems were shut down for the last time. The machine sat waiting for a new mission but none was found.
During this period, continued maintenance was required to keep the buildings in good condition should they be needed again. This represented a significant amount of money and electrical power. The decision was made in 2015 to begin the demolition of some of the service buildings. The E2 and E3 buildings were selected as a test case to determine the cost of this work and the associated utility reconfiguration.
A team from FESS, the Accelerator Division and others around the laboratory began the work. First the buildings were stripped of any equipment needed for reuse on experiments or for other machines. The rerouting of critical systems was accomplished over a multimonth period. Finally, over a two-week time period in early September of this year, the two buildings were demolished.
This work will provide a doorway to the future: The Main Ring/Tevatron tunnel will remain underground, and new facilities can be built to match the needs of a future machine.
Paul Czarapata is the deputy head of the Accelerator Division.