Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Sarah Wright ()
Communications and External Relations


UT-Battelle aids Norris school's fire recovery

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Dec. 12, 2008 — OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Dec. 12, 2008 -- UT-Battelle has chipped in to help Norris Elementary School recover from a fire that destroyed its new science facility.

The school's regional science center burned in an early morning fire Dec. 9 that left only the walls standing.

Officials at UT-Battelle, which manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory, announced the company would donate the $500 needed to cover the insurance policy deductible. UT-Battelle was one of the original contributors to the research facility.

"The fire occurred at the worst possible time, with tight budgets just before Christmas," said Leigha Edwards, UT-Battelle's head of corporate outreach. "The most important thing in the short term was to clear the way for the insurance to help rebuild the facility."

The log cabin, called the Lily Pad, served as an outdoor wetlands research laboratory for the school and was built through contributions of time and money by numerous individuals and businesses in the community. The facility had just opened weeks ago with a dedication celebration on Nov 26.

"This is a total loss for the Norris Elementary School and a real setback for the overall science program in this region," wrote James Woodward, Anderson County Schools' director of finance and administration, in a call for help to rebuild the facility.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.