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Initial Infrastructure Work Begins on Cherokee Farm

June 22, 2010

KNOXVILLE–-EMJ Construction of Chattanooga has been awarded the contract to oversee initial infrastructure development and site prep for the University of Tennessee's multi-use research campus, Cherokee Farm, and work is beginning this week.

Staging for the first phase of work which includes road and utility construction is underway. The company was awarded the $12.5 million contract as general contractor in May through a competitive bid process. Further infrastructure work will be let at a later date.

“The beginning of this work is a major step in bringing the Cherokee Farm vision to reality,” said UT Executive Vice President David Millhorn. “Cherokee Farm will bring together an unrivaled array of opportunities and offer potential private industry partners access to globally-recognized expertise and facilities that are not collectively available anywhere else in the world.”

An estimated 19 months is expected to complete infrastructure development, which includes:

  • Site grading
  • Water, sewer, natural gas and primary electrical supply systems
  • Data and telecommunications distribution
  • Lighting and landscaping

Together, UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will operate a Joint Institute for Advanced Materials (JIAM) – the first building planned for construction at Cherokee Farm. The JIAM building is to be a 144,000 square-foot research, laboratory and office building dedicated to the development and characterization of advanced materials. It also will house the Tennessee Solar Institute.

Bids for JIAM building construction will be sought in early fall, with the project to be awarded in October. The expected occupancy date is May 2013.

UT and ORNL have established four other joint institutes on the Oak Ridge campus – in Biological Sciences, Neutron Sciences, Heavy Ion Research and the National Institute for Computational Sciences.

In addition to the UT-Oak Ridge partnership, through Cherokee Farm UT will be positioned to recruit public-private partnerships to enhance the University's and Tennessee's global competitiveness in collaborative research.

Cherokee Farm also will be dedicated to “green” development. Energy conservation will be an ongoing focus of the campus, with sustainability addressed in land management, water efficiency, materials and indoor environmental quality.

Plans call for developing only 77 acres of the site, where 46 acres of the remaining property are designated part of an archaeological zone and will be preserved.

More information on Cherokee Farm is at: http://www.tennessee.edu/system/cherokee/

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Contact:

Gina Stafford, (865) 974-0741, stafford@tennessee.edu