On August 5th, the Ichinoseki City government announced its concept of using two NEC factory buildings (closed in March 2019) as an informational facility for the ILC if the ILC is indeed decided to be built in the area. This facility would open before the ILC begins operations. Mayor Osamu Katsube indicated he hoped the facility would be used as a temporary campus for the ILC before the main campus is built.
The concept was released by Takaaki Ishikawa, director of Ichinoseki’s Mayor’s Office, at a meeting of the Ichinoseki City Assembly.
The city had previously made a request to NEC to borrow the facility. There are three factory buildings within the site, each 3 stories tall. Of those, the city intends to use the #1 building (area: 12,600 square meters) and #2 building (area: 12,300 square meters) to set up an informational facility for the ILC, offices for research organizations, exhibits to the public, and meeting rooms.
Both factory buildings will be set up by the city government, and should the city purchase the buildings, they expect that they will rent space out to various related organizations.
Should the ILC be realized, any sort of informational facility near the JR Ichinoseki Station would need to be built quickly, which is why the city decided to use an existing building. The city will borrow the land and factories until 2023 (5 years), and if the city buys the property, the facility will be used for the 10 years between 2024 to 2033.
The #3 factory will be used for factory rental space and offices. They also expect that tenants will include companies and organizations related to the ILC. The three factory buildings have a remaining service life of 15 years, so after that time they will be completely demolished and the land will return to a vacant lot.
Mayor Katsube said, “It will take an extreme amount of money to construct the main campus. If we can use this spot near JR Ichinoseki Station in a temporary role for that first 15 years, then I think they’ll be able to save a great amount on the initial costs.”
NEC has not given an answer yet on the borrowing and purchase of the land and buildings. If the ILC is realized, operations would start after 2030. Mayor Katsube indicated his desire to buy the entire property in March, but surveys indicated the existence of hazardous materials left in the land. The city decided to borrow the existing buildings and land before the purification work is completed.