Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Bill Cabage (cabagewh@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


UT-Battelle supports Secret City Commemorative Walk

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 17, 2005 — UT-Battelle is supporting the Secret City Commemorative Walk--a memorial to participants in the Manhattan Project who also built the city of Oak Ridge--with the purchase of a monument for the new park.

Construction on the self-guided commemorative walk, described as an attractive, permanent and landscaped area set aside in Oak Ridge's A.K. Bissell Park, is set to begin this month. The effort is being spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge.

The UT-Battelle institutional monument will describe "X-10--The Clinton Laboratories," which are original names for the current Oak Ridge National Laboratory. UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy.

"ORNL's history is directly tied to that of the city of Oak Ridge," said Laboratory Director Jeff Wadsworth. "The Manhattan Project is one of the most fascinating stories of our time, and the establishment and growth of the city of Oak Ridge and of ORNL are major elements of that story."

The Secret City Commemorative Walk project will be funded by corporate and private donations through the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge, which is organizing the campaign. UT-Battelle's plaque will describe the laboratory's beginnings with the construction of the Graphite Reactor -- the world's first operating nuclear reactor -- and its growth into a multidisciplinary research facility.

An institutional monument such as UT-Battelle's represents a $10,000 donation to the campaign. The commemorative walk will feature 10 of these monuments.

Other designated donations to the memorial walk include founder's wall plaques for $150 and $300 and levels of donor support from $100 (supporter) to $1,000 (benefactor). There will be one $5,000 historical marker for each year that Oak Ridge was a "secret city"—closed to the outside world—from its inception in 1942 until 1949.