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Ceremony marks groundbreaking for Scripps Institution projects

A ceremony on Tuesday marked the start of construction on two research buildings at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography that were paid for in part with federal economic stimulus dollars.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, who was there for the ceremony, said, “Today, we break ground on not one, but two state-of-the-art facilities dedicated to furthering our knowledge of oceans and marine life. This investment will help create and support jobs and add to our storehouse of knowledge about climate and our marine environment.”

More than $100 million in economic stimulus funds was allocated to build the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center at the UCSD institution.

The 120,000-square-foot facility will house up to 300 staffers, a laboratory, office and support space, and a large sea- and fresh-water Ocean Technology Development Tank. It is scheduled to be completed in October 2011.

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Separately, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography was awarded $12 million in economic stimulus money through the National Institute of Standards and Technology toward the construction of a $26 million laboratory building on its campus for research on marine ecosystem forecasting. The job is expected to be completed by late 2012.