Organizational History

Since 1997, the Environment, Safety & Health, Safeguards & Security, and Facilities & Infrastructure headquarters functions in support the SC mission were organized under the SC Office of Safety, Security and Infrastructure (SSI).  The first ten years of SSI’s history (1997-2006) were years of momentous change in the Department of Energy (DOE) and in the Office of Science (SC).  The annual budget for SC increased from $2.5B to $3.8B and funded large investments in new research facilities including: the Spallation Neutron Source in Oak Ridge National Laboratory; light sources at Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory; the Linac Coherent Light Source at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; and, nanocenters at Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

These years also saw the ending of the nuclear reactor program at Brookhaven due to the discovery of a tritium leak.  SC conducted Landlord Reviews at multi-program labs and implemented a Laboratory Stewardship Initiative. There was a major re-organization of the DOE field structure in which the Office of Field Management was abolished and Operations Offices that previously reported to them were re-assigned to Lead Program Secretarial Officers (LPSO). SC was assigned Chicago and Oak Ridge Operations Offices.  SC also initiated OneSC, in which the sites offices for SC laboratories reported directly to SC Headquarters. The Chicago and Oak Ridge Operations Offices were re-designated as the “Integrated Support Center” intended to function as a single, virtual organization with two physical locations.  SC developed an Office of Science Management System (SCMS) (internal access only) to clarify the implementation of DOE and SC policies, and to more effectively and consistently manage processes across the SC enterprise.

In August 2014, the Deputy Director for Field Operations (DDFO) restructured SSI to form the Office of Safety and Security Policy (SSP) and the Office of Operations Program Management (OPM) and designated the Office of Laboratory Policy and Evaluation to be the Office of Laboratory Policy (LP).

What is now the SLI Program originated in FY 1981 and by 2006 had completed over 100 projects with a cumulative total cost of about $600 million.  Since 2006, the SLI Program has completed eight additional projects with a combined total cost of about $620 million.

The SLI Program originated as the Multi-program General Purpose Facilities (MGPF) program in 1979 under the Office of Energy Research (ER).  Congress renamed ER in 1998 to the Office of Science.  The SLI Program’s first budget was funded in FY 1981 and covered all the DOE’s multi-program general purpose facilities including those in Defense Program (now the National Nuclear Security Administration, NNSA) and Energy Technology (primarily Nuclear Energy).  It has evolved over the last 30 years to cover only general purpose facilities at SC’s ten laboratories and other DOE sites under the purview of SC, including the New Brunswick Laboratory (NBL), Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), and the Oak Ridge Reservation and town site.

The SLI Program was unique within DOE in that it did not focus on research and development (R&D) but on the general purpose facilities that supported R&D.  Programs funding R&D had as their highest priority the funding of the R&D facilities that housed their activities.  General purpose facilities were largely an afterthought and accordingly were in poor condition at most DOE sites by 1979.  The MGPF program was a non-R&D program and there was no precedent for such a program.  Accordingly the program had to develop its mission basis, a program staff, definitions & planning processes, information management systems, cross-agency coordination process, performance criteria, budget justifications, project evaluation and ranking criteria and its construction management approach.  These were developed in the dynamic first few years of the program and continue to support the existing and successful SLI program 30 years later.

In the1990s, the program expanded to cover Department of Energy “Tiger Team” remediation projects, then ES&H remediation projects and Inactive and Surplus Facilities. It funded General Plant Projects (GPP) and General Purpose Equipment (GPE) at ORNL and ORISE for a few years.

In the 2000s, the program inherited the Oak Ridge Operation Landlord program covering the Oak Ridge Reservation outside of the 3 major sites – ORNL, Y-12 and ETTP – and the Federal Facilities in Oak Ridge.  This included funding Payment-in-lieu-of Taxes (PILT) for Oak Ridge.  Later the program funded PILT at Argonne and Brookhaven as well.   The ES&H subprogram and the Inactive and Surplus facilities subprogram were re-activated in the mid-2000s and the construction program was expanded to cover all SC laboratories including those previously called single program or program dedicated laboratories.

In 2009, SC leadership conceived of the Infrastructure Modernization Initiative that shifted the primary focus of the SLI program away from addressing deferred maintenance and towards modernization of existing and construction of new facilities to meet mission needs and fill capability gaps.  The Infrastructure Modernization Initiative, when enhanced by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), resulted in a tripling of SC’s annual capital investment in general purpose infrastructure.  This resulted in the accelerated completion of the following projects:

  • Energy Sciences Building (ESB) project at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
  • Seismic Life-Safety and Modernization, Phase 2 project at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
  • Renovate Science Laboratories, Phase II (RSL-II) project at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)
  • Technology and Engineering Development Facility (TEDF) project at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF)
  • Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB) project at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)
  • Modernization of Laboratory Facilities (MLF) project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

Since 2006, the SLI Program:

  • Provided state-of-the-art space for more than 2,120 research staff and other building occupants
  • Completed 9 projects with a combined Total Estimated Cost of $616 million
  • Constructed 812,000 gross square feet of new space
  • Modernized 329,000 gross square feet of existing space
  • Demolished 291,000 gross square feet of excess space
  • Earned 5 Department of Energy Secretary’s Awards for Excellence, Achievement, and Improvement