Several recent reports have identified the scientific requirements for a future soft X-ray light source [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], and a high-repetition-rate free-electron laser (FEL) facility responsive to them is being studied at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) . The facility is based on a continuous-wave (CW) superconducting linear accelerator with beam supplied by a high-brightness, high-repetition-rate photocathode electron gun operating in CW mode, and on an array of FELs to which the accelerated beam is distributed, each operating at high repetition rate and with even pulse spacing. Dependent on the experimental requirements, the individual FELs may be configured for either self-amplified spontaneous emission (SASE), seeded highgain harmonic generation (HGHG), echo-enabled harmonic generation (EEHG), or oscillator mode of operation, and will produce high peak and average brightness x-rays with a flexible pulse format ranging from sub-femtoseconds to hundreds of femtoseconds. This new light source would serve a broad community of scientists in many areas of research, similar to existing utilization of storage ring based light sources. To reduce technical risks and construction costs, accelerator research, development, and design studies at LBNL target the most critical components and systems of the facility. We are developing a high-repetition-rate low-emittance electron gun, high quantum efficiency photocathodes, and have embarked on design and optimization of the electron beam accelerator, FEL switchyard, and array of FELs. We continue our work on precision timing and synchronization systems critical for time-resolved experiments using pump-probe techniques.