*NEW! LIGO Exploration Center*
Welcome to the LExC Construction Progress page!
Work has begun on the LIGO Exploration Center (LExC) at LIGO Hanford Observatory (LHO). The facility, designed by Terence Thornhill, Architect, and being built by DGR Grant Construction, will be located just to the east of LHO's current 'public' welcome building, which houses the auditorium, main LHO reception area, and some existing free-standing exhibits. In the next 15 months, however, a new, beautiful dedicated visitor center will become the hub for all LHO visitors.
A groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate the beginning of construction of this long-awaited center took place on October 22. The groundbreaking began with LIGO Hanford Observatory Head, Mike Landry, acknowledging the ancestral land upon which LIGO is situated. Due to COVID restrictions, we were unable to host a large, in-person groundbreaking event. Instead, just five people were on-site to ceremonially turn some dirt. A video of the occasion was made, including separate video clips of congratulatory remarks from government officials and others who supported LHO's bid to build this exciting facility. The 3.5-minute groundbreaking video, and full video statements of all who provided congratulatory remarks, can be found in a news item posted on October 23, 2020.
Building LExC at this time works out well since both LIGO facilities (LHO and the detector in Livinston LA) are currently not operating while another major upgrade to the instruments is being made. As a result, the vibrations caused by construction activities pose no threat to LIGO operations.
Since LHO remains closed to the public thanks to COVID-19, we will keep you posted on construction progress here by regularly uploading photos of the site. We hope you check back every so often to see LExC come to life. We hope to welcome our first visitors in early 2022.
Note that LIGO Hanford Observatory remains closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions.
NOVEMBER 6, 2020
OCTOBER 23, 2020
OCTOBER 21, 2020