California campus breaks ground for new cafeteria

By Paul Rhien

Friday, July 02, 2021

Sandia leadership breaks ground on new cafeteria in California
THROWING DIRT — Sandia leadership, Facilities personnel, and contractors prepare to break ground for a new cafeteria at the Labs’ Livermore site on June 15. (Photo by Dino Vournas)
Guests and visitors gather at the cafeteria groundbreaking event
UPGRADING FOOD SERVICE — Special guests and visitors visit following the cafeteria groundbreaking event on June 15. (Photo by Dino Vournas)

In an informal event under the Chinese pistache trees located west of building 926, Sandia leadership, Facilities personnel, and architecture and construction contractors gathered on June 15 to break ground for the new cafeteria at Sandia’s Livermore site. Construction on the 2,400-square-foot food-service facility will begin as soon as possible and is expected to be completed and open for operation by early summer 2022.

“This is a really big step for the California site,” said Director of California Site Operations Pam McKeever, noting that the new cafeteria will be an important upgrade from the current grab-and-go offerings in the 915 café.

“People have been asking for better food-service options on-site for a long time, and we’re really pleased to be making this move to better accommodate this need,” Pam said.

Architectural rendering of the cafeteria
INNOVATIVE DESIGN — Architectural rendering of the 2,400-square-foot California Cafeteria. (Photo Courtesy of Shah Kawasaki Architects)

Working with architecture and engineering contractors, Facilities has taken an innovative design approach for the cafeteria to meet NNSA cost requirements, according to Pam. The metal building will include prefabricated construction with customizations, including a 500-square-foot external, standalone kitchen. Indoor dining space may be complemented by optional outdoor covered seating if funding allows.

The new cafeteria will also be positioned in the General Access Area, creating opportunities for dining with invited guests from the public.

“It was a long journey and a multi-year effort to get to where we are today,” Pam said, explaining how a multifunctional operations team has used the Integrated Service Delivery model in completing feasibility studies, cost allowability analysis, and even making a change to Sandia’s prime contract in order to move the project forward.

Sandia leadership celebrates construction of the new cafeteria
SITE IMPROVEMENTS — Director of California Site Operations Pam McKeever, left, celebrates the commencement of construction for a new cafeteria at the Livermore site, as Associate Labs Directors Harold Yeldell and Andy McIlroy and Labs Director James Peery look on. (Photo by Dino Vournas)

Pam thanked Laboratories Director James Peery for his support since he took the helm at Sandia last year. James was visiting from New Mexico for a series of meetings and was on hand for the groundbreaking.

“Since James’s first visit to the California site as labs director, he has supported upgrading our cafeteria, and we’ve been really grateful for his backing,” Pam said.

Pam and James were joined by Associate Labs Directors Harold Yeldell and Andy McIlroy to lead the ceremonial turning of soil at the site of the new facility.

Contract vendor operations will be co-managed by Facilities and Employee & Health Benefits organizations. More details of food-service and menu options will be determined in the coming months.