UCAR Communications


staff notes monthly

November 2002

And then there were two labs:
A look back at FL’s beginnings

The last time UCAR bought a complex of buildings was in 1990, when it purchased Foothills Lab 1/2/3. Here are some excerpts from Staff Notes Monthly articles from that time about the remodeling and dedication of the new buildings.“NCAR North” Acquired from NBI; Move-In Begins Soon (5 April 1990)

Months of uncertainty over the consolidation of NCAR’s scattered operations ended Friday when UCAR, with approval from the National Science Foundation, purchased the 16-acre NBI headquarters in northeast Boulder and its 250,000 gross square feet of building space....

George Lamb, Facilities and Support Services (FSS) manager, said the building complex—initially to be known as “NCAR North”—will undergo extensive remodeling over the next year. NCAR staff will be moved in gradually as each phase of renovation is completed. The available space at NCAR North exceeds the amount that was planned for a mesa addition, and the cost (including several million dollars for remodeling) will be considerably less....

Memo to the Staff (30 May 1991)

We have decided on a name for the new building. Our decision is based upon two polls that were conducted, as well as advice from a number of groups, including the NCAR and UCAR Directors’ Committees.

Our choice is Foothills Laboratory. In the polls taken, there was not a clear majority for any single name. There was a plurality, however, for the name “Foothills Laboratory,” with “North Laboratory” being a clear second choice:

Foothills 52
North 45
Prairie 32
Hayden Lake 15

…Our decision is based primarily upon two factors. First, there is a symmetry between the designations “Foothills Laboratory” and “Mesa Laboratory,” since they each have a geographical significance, Foothills being associated with Foothills Parkway and the Mesa Laboratory associated with the Walter Orr Roberts Mesa. A second consideration is that the association with a point on the compass was too generic for us....

Construction Cranking Up at Foothills Lab (20 June 1991)

Since last fall, about 125 UCAR/NCAR staff have been ensconced in the westernmost of the three Foothills Lab buildings. The other two buildings have been dormant except for cafeteria dining and occasional meetings. However, that quietude is over.

Demolition began 27 May in Building 1 on the east end of the complex, reports George Lamb, Facilities Planning and Management director. Workers removed light fixtures, took down ceiling tiles and blinds, and have been removing carpet and the partitions that separated offices. The past Monday, 17 June, the demolition expanded to Building 2....

The showers and lockers near the east entrance of Building 1 remain accessible from that side but will be shut down for about two months later this year, according to George. A wellness center with space for aerobics and other activities will adjoin the Building 1 shower area once construction is complete.

Plans for the cafeteria are still in flux, George says...

NCAR’s Newest Building Is Formally Dedicated (30 July 1992)

A group of about 100 invited guests gave the Foothills Lab its official christening on Wednesday, 15 July. The brief ceremony took place in front of Building 2, where a minipark complete with several commemorative benches had been created. Bill Rawson (vice president of UCAR Finance and Administration) opened with a rhyming tribute to the officials, financiers, and builders who made the acquisition and renovation of the former NBI building possible. Following him were the National Science Foundation’s Eugene Bierly and Boulder City Council member Sally Martin.

Then–NCAR director Bob Serafin participating in the ceremonial tree planting during the dedication of the Foothills Lab.

Boulder County commissioner Ron Stewart pointed out that “in a county where we recycle everything, it seems terribly important that we recycled this wonderful facility.” NCAR director Bob Serafin paid homage to the major remodeling conducted within the largely untouched exterior, while UCAR president Rick Anthes reviewed the chronology that led to acquiring the Foothills site, calling it a road that was “curved and tortuous and doubled back on itself many times.” Jeff Kimpel, chairman of the UCAR Board of Trustees and provost of the University of Oklahoma, noted NCAR’s worldwide renown: “I might go so far as to say more people know about Boulder through NCAR than through the CU football team.”

A piñon pine was planted at the dedication site, and at the reception that followed each guest received a blue spruce sapling. Janet Roberts, the wife of the late NCAR founder Walt Roberts, was among the many long-time friends of NCAR in attendance. •

Also in this issue...

Space: The never-final frontier

Returning to Center Green


NCAR receives national FAA award

Random Profile: Allen Schanot

Helping Alaskans adjust to climate change

From Bombay to Boulder

Delphi Questions

Short takes

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