August 7, 1950 memorandum from J. McCree Smith to Colonel J. W. Harrelson

August 7, 1950 Col. J. W. Harrelson
A Holladay Hall
Dear Col. Harrelson:

In answer to your request, the following is presented as an analysis
of sites for the location of the new Neuclear Reactor Building for
the School of Engineering.

The site locations enumerated are all north of the railroad tracks,
and are all similar in size and shape for the available areas and
consequently are all somewhat restricted in the space for develop-
ment by the confines of other buildings already in existence.
They are listed chronologically on the basis of desirability from
the point of view of the over-all campus plan.


  • 1. The foundation for con-
    struction of the reactor cell
    would be adequate without
    necessity of costly pile or
    other treatment.
  • 2. This location is high in
    elevation and would satisfy
    this basic requirement for loca-
    tion of the building.
  • 3. The functional requirements
    of this building can readily be
    fitted into available space (see
    attached schematic drawing).
  • 4. This location has no live
    storm drainage lines in the area
    for possible contamination.
  • 5. Work could be started almost
    immediately in construction of
    the new building by tearing out
    the existing greenhouse appendage
    to the Zoology Building. We are
    advised by Dr. Anderson that this
  • 1. The inconvenience of having
    the new building immediately to
    the rear of the existing Zoology
    Building until such time as the
    old Zoology Building could be

[page 2]


  • greenhouse appendage does not have
    an important functional use
    at this time.
  • 6. This building, functionaly,
    is a part of the Engineering
    and its location in this
    site is a logical integration of
    engineering facilities.
  • 7. Placing the building on this
    location will provide justification
    for the removal of the old Zoology
    Building in the near furture when
    its use as a Zoologoy Building can
    be abondoned, therby completing
    the architectural composition of
    the north-south mall area.
  • 8. The space available is adequate
    for present and future development.
  • 9. This location is one of the most
    prominent spots on the campus, and
    while this building is small, rela-
    tively speaking, its great signifi-
    cance should be recognized in its
    placing. This site has the advantage
    of giving the distinct prominence,
    framed as it is between the large,
    handsome masses of the Riddick Engin-
    eering Laboratory and the Diesel-
    Mechanical Engineering Building, as
    a southern focal point of the north-
    south mall area.
  • 10. In this location services to this
    building would be convenient, not only
    to engineering students, but to agri-
    cultural students as well.


  • 1. The existing stack, which
    was a part of the original college
    power plant, could be used as
    an integral part of construc-
    tion for the discharge of con-
    taminated gases.
  • 1. The site is low.
  • 2. The foundation very likely will
    require piling or other treatment.

[page 3]


  • 2. This location is convenient
    and is an integral part of the
    Engineering School facilities.
  • 3. The location of the building
    on this site would provide fur-
    ther justification for the re-
    moval of the existing Ceramic
    Building which is recognized as
    a building unsuitable for further
    college use.
  • 4. The location is adequate for
    present and future development.
  • 3. Storm drainage for the east area
    of the campus passes through this
    area and would be a possible means
    for spreading contaminated materials.
  • 4. Work could not be started until
    the Ceramic Department could be
    located in other q uarters.

SPACE NORTH OF OLD ZOOLOGY BUILDING (between Polk and Daniels Halls)

  • 1. Location is a high eleva-
  • 2. Foundation is good.
  • 3. Location is convenient and
    an integral part of engineering
  • 4. Space is immediately avail-
    able for construction.
  • 1. This location would tend to
    destroy the architectural composi-
    tion of the north-south mall area.
  • 2. This location would probably
    necessitate relocation of the
    Diesel cooling fountain.
  • 3. This location is an illogical
    one because of location of front
    facades of Polk and Daniels Halls.
  • 4. The building in this location
    would mask the handsome architectural
    composition which has been achieved
    in the grouping of the Riddick Engin-
    eering Laboratory and the Diesel-Mechan-
    ical Engineering Building.


  • 1. This site would be avail-
    able for construction upon
    removal of an existing
  • 1. The area is low in elevation.
  • 2. Foundation would require piling
    or other expensive treatment to
    support the building.
  • 3. In order to develop the site for
    the building it would be necessary to
    bring in approximately 10 feet of fill
    to lift the building up to the plane
    of the mall area being developed just
    north of the site.

[page 4]


Advantages Disadvantages
  • 4. Storm drainage lines for the
    Hillsboro St. and West Campus areas
    pass through this site. Since there
    are springs above this area there
    will be running water in these lines
    at all times with a possibility of
  • 5. This site is detached from the
    Engineering School facilities.
  • 6. This site location is directy
    north of Alexander and Turlington
    dormitories and the north end of
    these dormitories would be within
    the 200 yd. radiation zone set out
    as a basic requirement for isolation
    from living facilities.
  • 7. This location is at the vehicular
    and pedestrian cross roads of the cam-
    pus and it is felt that this space
    should be reserved for a building that
    will serve a great majority of the
    students all of the time. While this
    Neuclear Laboratory is timely, its
    service would be limited to a small
    number of students.

Mr. Williams and Mr. Fitzgibbon have both been consulted on this
matter and the above appraisal is offered as a planning-wise basis
to aid the administration to fully evaluate the situation, along
with the academic requirements, to the end that the location of the
building may be soundly conceived and defended.

Respectfully submitted,
J. McCree Smith
cc: Dr. D. B. Anderson
Dr. C. K. Beck
Dean J. H. Hilton
Dean J. H. Lampe
Mr. J. G. Vann