Legislature working to pass $90M Bond for buildings near INL

Legislature working to pass $90M Bond

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK/KXPI) - The Legislature will make a decision on whether to pass a $90 million bond, called the Senate Concurrent Resolution 105, or SCR105.

The bond would build two new research centers near the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) site, in Idaho Falls. This bond will affect the future of Idaho students.

The bond resolution has already passed the Senate with a unanimous vote. Now, it is up to the 105 house members.

One of the proposed buildings would focus on cybersecurity and the other on nuclear energy research.

The Cybercore building with be for cybersecurity and the Collaborative Computing Center (C3) will be for nuclear energy research.

Sen. Dean Mortimer is one of the bond sponsors and the education chair of the Idaho Legislature. The bond will have a positive effect, Mortimer said.

"The super computer is one that the universities basically don't have the ability to do on their own. Capability is extremely important for our universities to do very highly technical research," he said.

If the bond is passed, INL will payoff the debt in monthly lease payments of about $265,000 for the Cybercore building and $245,000 for C3.

Chief Communication and Legislative Affairs Officer Blake Youde is a spokesperson for the state board of education. The Legislature may ask him to speak this week.

He said there is a great partnership between the state and the INL, in regards to SCR105 bond.

"It helps us help create and grow workforce in our state that has tremendous demand and really puts Idaho in the forefront of computer science and in terms of cybersecurity," Youde said.

INL campus development, Van Briggs, believes this bond will open many opportunities for the state as well as for Idaho college students.

It will allow students to work directly with INL scientists for a better learning environment, he said.

"This will lead to a partnership and a continuing partnership with the university and colleges, with interns, collaborations with post docs and also join appointments with university positions," Briggs said.

If passed, the two new facilities are expected to be built near the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), in Idaho Falls. The state owns this ground.

Looking ahead, the groundbreaking would be expected early this summer. Construction would take about 15 months.

The statement of purpose and fiscal note for SCR105 can be found here.

The legislative session is set to end on March 24. A decision is anticipated prior to the end of the session but if the session is extended, the decision may be delayed beyond this date. 

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