As work continues at a new, multi-million dollar research facility in Bedford County, we're learning more about some of the building's innovative features.
When the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) opens later this year, it will be home to students and faculty from several universities. They'll be testing breakthrough technologies for the nuclear and wireless industries.
News 7's Tim Saunders got an exclusive tour of the center's construction Monday from its director, Bob Bailey.
"This is going to be a unique facility," said Bailey, walking through a large atrium that will serve as the entrance to the new facility.
Architects designed the building with a theme of "science made visible." Lab space will be used by students from Virginia Tech, UVA, and other schools. They will work on projects for companies like Areva and Babcock and Wilcox.
"It's not pure university research and not necessarily pure business," said Bailey. "It's the collaboration of the two."
The new center will be housed inside a 30-thousand square foot, LEED certified building at the New London Business and Technology Center.
Visible from US 460, the facility features two large towers. One will house a model nuclear reactor. The other will hold test equipment for the wireless industry.
"Our vision for this facility all along has been to create a research university environment in support of our local industries," said Bailey, who believes the work that happens at the CAER will make local companies more competitive.
"It's designed to be a game changing facility," said Bailey. "It's designed to be transformational."
The new center should be ready for move in by April, followed by a grand opening in May or June.