The University of California is making plans to renovate the Hertz Hall complex on the east side of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for future campus-Laboratory collaborations.
The complex consists of three UC-owned buildings on land owned by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.
It housed the old UC Davis Department of Applied Science, founded in 1963 at the instigation of two eminent physicists: Edward Teller, who helped found LLNL and later became director, and Hans Mark.
“Teller Tech,” as the campus was known, awarded more than 400 PhD and Masters degrees in applied science before closing in 2011 due to financial pressures.
The Hertz name is attached to the campus because of the bond that formed between Teller and John Hertz, the Austrian immigrant who invented the car rental business, founded Yellow Cab, and created a company that became Checker Motors.
Hertz donated funds to build the UC Davis classrooms at LLNL and later started a foundation that still bears his name for supporting graduate students.
In its 48 years of operation, the Teller Tech campus reflected a close partnership between LLNL and UC Davis. It helped the Laboratory develop its workforce while carrying out research collaborations. It also offered teaching and educational opportunities for staff.
Early planning for the site’s renovation began in 2018 with a feasibility study. Last month, UC Regents approved $1 million in funding for a more detailed project design.
The older buildings are run down and “will require very significant renovations,” according to a proposal submitted to the Regents.
Details are not yet available on an eventual operating budget or how many people might be housed there, according to Andrew Gordon, a university spokesman. The proposal to the Regents suggested renovation could cost about $5-6 million.
Costs would be funded using the University share of fee income earned from operating the Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy. The University anticipates a proposal for full approval of the renovation effort to be ready by the middle of next year.
Gordon wrote in an email that the project is intended “to facilitate expanded campus and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory partnerships in innovation, research, and education.”
If approved, it will “broadly engage faculty and students from all UC campuses with national Lab scientists and engineers and others to address the most pressing scientific and technological challenges of the 21st century.”