Note: This story was last updated at 2 p.m. June 16.
The Oak Ridge City Council agreed Monday to allow the city manager to negotiate with federal officials and the company redeveloping the former Oak Ridge Mall for the transfer of the American Museum of Science and Energy property—if the federal government wants to get rid of it.
And it appears that the federal government does want to dispose of the museum. The U.S. Department of Energy has asked the federal General Services Administration, which disposes of federal property, for help with that process, said Claire Sinclair of Oak Ridge National Laboratory Site Office Public Affairs. GSA took on that role last week.
But the transfer of federal property such as AMSE usually takes a few years, Sinclair said, and if a new use were proposed for the museum property, adequate public notice would be given. ORNL manages AMSE for DOE.
In the meantime, AMSE is expected to continue operating, officials said.
Under the resolution approved by Council on Monday, the 17.12 acres of federal property at the AMSE site could be transferred to the city. Or RealtyLink, the company redeveloping the mall, could negotiate directly with federal officials. The U.S. Department of Energy owns the museum, and it would work on any proposed transfer through the General Services Administration. [Read more…]