BERKELEY (CBS SF) — The University of California announced Tuesday that it is delaying until early next year its decision on where to locate a second campus of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which the university manages.

UC officials previously had said they would announce their decision by the end of this month.

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Most of the lab’s 4,200 employees work at its main facility in the Berkeley hills, but about 20 percent of them work at leased facilities that are scattered around the East Bay.

The proposed campus is an effort to consolidate those facilities and provide the lab with long-term cost savings.

More than 20 cities and developers proposed ideas for a second campus, and university officials narrowed them down to six finalists.

Those sites are Alameda Point in Alameda; Berkeley Aquatic Park West in Berkeley; Brooklyn Basin in Oakland; properties in Emeryville and West Berkeley that are currently occupied by the lab; Golden Gate Fields, which straddles the Berkeley-Albany border; and Richmond Field Station, a site currently owned by the university.

UC officials had a series of hearings at those sites in July and August to get input from community members.

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University officials say construction of the second campus will take about four years and they hope to move researchers into the new site by mid-2016.

Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos released a statement in which he thanked cities, developers and community members for participating in the selection process in recent months.

He said, “We have been overwhelmed by the positive and extremely thoughtful responses from the communities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Richmond.”

“We are deeply grateful for such well-formulated responses, but find that we need a bit more time to fully evaluate our options and to confer with stakeholders in order to arrive at the best possible decision,” he said.

He said UC has “a number of excellent options before us” and its goal is to announce a preferred site as soon as possible.

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