The Integrated Media Center, the new home for millions of pages of Hanford documents, was dedicated Thursday.
It already holds 20,000 record boxes, each holding an average of 4,000 pages of documents. In addition to paper, the center stores videos, microfiche and photo negatives that document Hanford projects and employment back to World War II.
"We are information-rich," said Debbi Isom, the Mission Support Alliance director of content and record management.
The center, which includes a new 12,000-square-foot building and a nearby refurbished administration building, will hold Hanford records in one place for use by Hanford contractor and Department of Energy employees.
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It replaces a 1950-era building near the Federal Building in Richland that employees described as dark and gloomy. It also will be used for other records held around the nuclear reservation, and most recently it allowed 3,000 cubic-feet of boxes of records to be retrieved from the Seattle Federal Records Center.
"It's going to save the Hanford site money," said Frank Armijo, president of Mission Support Alliance.
Storage fees are paid for records that are kept in Seattle and consolidating other site records should improve efficiency, officials said. The new building also is energy efficient, saving money while using climate controls to keep the records in good condition.
The building also meets fire rating requirements, protecting one-of-a-kind historic records.
The $2.3 million project "took one year from a picture on a wall to a compliant facility," said Gene Higgins, the Hanford DOE information technology portfolio manager.