The federal government has awarded a contract to manage the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility to a joint venture between a California technology company and a consortium of 62 Southeastern universities, including 12 in Virginia.
The five-year contract is worth 500 million dollars but has the potential to be extended 15 more years, bringing the total value to two billion dollars.
Jefferson Lab, in Newport News, is one of the federal government's main sites for researching the composition of atoms.
About 700 people are employed at the facility, which has an annual budget of roughly 100 million dollars.
The Southeastern Universities Research Association has managed Jefferson Lab since its founding in 1984, and it says the transition to the joint venture should be smooth.
Submitted: Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 12:00am