Building the U.S. Department of Energy's $4.5 billion superconducting supercollider in Arizona would stimulate economic growth throughout the Western states, says Richard J. Jacobs, professor and chairman of the Department of Physics at Arizona State University.
"While Arizona would be the actual site for the supercollider, multiple benefits of our location would have a major economic rippling effect on the Western region," Jacobs said in a Deseret News interview. "This is not a lab just for Arizona; it will be an international lab.""My purpose for coming here is to bolster enthusiam for bringing the supercollider to the West even though Utahns are disappointed their site was not among the finalists," Jacobs said.
Benefits listed by Jacobs include:
- The estimated $4.5 billion construction cost that would be spent in Arizona and other states in the region.
- An annual $270 million operating budget, part of which would be spent for transportation and other regional services.
- A major stimulation to science programs at all educational levels throughout the area.
- Regional high-tech industrial development and support industries.
"There will be a great deal of money spent on computers and computer software, and Utah is strong in the computer field," Jacobs said.
Jacobs said officials from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education feel quite confident one of the two Western sites will be selected for the supercollider.
Jacobs also said WICHE officials expect President Reagan will, as one of his last acts in office, announce the site.
"I think there will be opposition and pressure on the new president to change it," he said. "That's why it will be so important for the people in the West to remain united to protect the selection."