On 30 April 1999, Jean Pépin, Sénateur for the Department of the Ain and President of the Conseil Général, and Professor Luciano Maiani the Director-General of CERN* will lay the foundation stone of Building SMA18, financed by the Department of the Ain in the framework of France's special contribution to CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project.
When the LHC was approved by CERN's nineteen Member States in December 1994, the two Host States agreed to make a special contribution to the project. The French contribution comprises four components of varying amounts granted by central government, the Rhône-Alpes regional authorities and the Departments of the Haute-Savoie and the Ain. The latter is putting 15.6 million French francs towards the construction of a 3600 sq.m. assembly hall required for the LHC.
This hall, to be called SMA18, will be built on CERN land in Prévessin-Moëns, near the crossroads between the route de l'Europe and the RD984 main road. Most of the nine-metre high building will lie below ground level and little will be visible from the road. Special care will be taken with the landscaping to ensure the building blends well into its environment.
Construction time will be very short and the building must be handed over to CERN for the LHC project in less than one year. Building SMA18 is where the final assembly of the thousands of accelerator components will take place before they are lowered into the LHC tunnel via an installation shaft located less than one kilometre away. The proximity of this access shaft will be of great practical benefit and will reduce the risks inherent in transporting exceptional loads over long distances.
Building SMA18 perfectly illustrates the spirit of cooperation that prevails between CERN and the Ain local authorities not only on a financial level but in many economic and cultural projects, which bear witness to the Organization's desire to integrate better into the local community.