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Groundbreaking for Bldg. 50 Follows Tree-Clearing Effort

Dr. Michael Gottesman (left), NIH deputy director for intramural research, gives the keynote address at the groundbreaking ceremony for Bldg. 50 -- the Consolidated Laboratory Facility -- on July 17. He explained that 5,000 truckloads of soil must be removed during excavation for Bldg. 50. The site was a swamp years before it became parking lot 13C, and was filled in with soil dug out during construction of the original Bldg. 10 in the late forties. So the dirt is making its second trip in 50 years, Gottesman noted. Below, a crane feeds whole trees to a wood chipper as parking lot 13C is cleared in preparation for the new construction.

If the science that's conducted in it is as hot as the day ground was ceremonially broken for its construction, Bldg. 50 has a rich future indeed. The Consolidated Laboratory Facility -- a structure that will be about the same size as the Conte Bldg. -- will house some 560 scientists from five institutes, plus space for the Director's Reserve. Bldg. 50 will complete the round-robin renovation of lab structures on campus begun in the early eighties and feature the latest in amenities. "It represents a transition for NIH," said Dr. Ruth Kirschstein, NIH deputy director. "It will take us from the past into the future."

Among the officials wielding spades on July 17 were (from l) Dr. Michael Gottesman and institute representatives Drs. Ira Levin (NIDDK), Edward Korn (NHLBI), Thomas Kindt (NIAID), Eric Green (NHGRI), Anthony Fauci (NIAID) and Stephen Katz (NIAMS).

Who knew there were so many trees that had to be removed from parking lot 13C in order to prepare for Bldg. 50 excavation? Here a power chipper spews out an ever-rising mound of mulch as whole trees are fed into its maw.

As the chipper spits out a stream of mulch, a power loader (r) adds more downed trees to the conveyor belt feeding the contraption.

A workman prepares fencing along the perimeter of the Bldg. 50 worksite.

A root ball from an upturned tree sits outside where cars used to bake in the lot across from Bldg. 12A (rear).

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