Inauguration of the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative on the USC Aiken campus

April 19 — The ground has been laid on the advanced manufacturing collaboration to be built at USC Aiken.

Congressman Joe Wilson, Department of Energy Environmental Management Senior Advisor Ike White, Savannah River National Laboratory Director Vahid Majidi, USCA Chancellor Dr. Daniel Heimmermann, former USCA Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan and six others ceremoniously threw dirt from the future site of the building. before 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Wilson, White, Majidi, Heimmermann and Jordan took the floor before ceremoniously throwing dirt.

Wilson said he was humbled and inspired to be at the groundbreaking.

“I just can’t wait to drive by and see the facility,” Wilson said. “The opportunities will be given in research or in training, it continues.”

White said it was amazing to see the ground breaking new ground as part of the collaboration, as it had been nearly a decade since the idea was first discussed within the department. He said the collaboration would help develop and attract talent to the Savannah River site.

Majidi said it was a beautiful day. He said he had tracked the collaborative’s planning and design progress for four years.

“I can’t wait to show you all the new capabilities we’re going to have in this building,” Majidi said. “This will be an all-new capability that will allow us to bring industry, academia and [Savannah River] National laboratory together. It’s going to be something very unique and very American.”

Jordan said many people involved with the project worried about its future at different times, but added that all of them are focused on making the collaboration happen. She said she hopes the collaboration will spark wonder for generations to come.

Heimmermann served as emcee for the event.

The collaboration will be located between the softball field and the USCA tennis courts and Trolley Line Road, according to an aerial drawing shown last year.

The collaboration is a partnership between the USCA and the DOE and SRNL. Once construction is complete, the collaboration should be a place for research, education and public engagement.

Construction was originally scheduled to begin in 2020, but was delayed until fall 2021 and then Tuesday. The prime construction contractor is North Wind Construction Services LLC.

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