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$1.5 billion Facebook data center planned in Sarpy County one of the largest in the world

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 7:18 PM CDT
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PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) - More jobs are coming to Sarpy County thanks to an expansion to Facebook’s data center there. The announcement was made on Wednesday morning and marks Facebook’s second expansion in the area.

The 2.6 million-square-foot facility has four operation facilities, two that are under construction, and four more that will be built with this expansion. By the time it’s complete in 2024, the facility will be 3.6 million square-feet and cost Facebook over $1.5 billion.

“For Sarpy County it obviously represents $400 million following three other similar investments from Facebook and it helps establish us as kind of a data center cluster that’s nationally known now,” says executive director of the Sarpy County economic development corporation.

The stretch along Highway 50 where the current facility is located has become a hub for major companies. It’s recently welcomed Fidelity, Google and Yahoo facilities. An Amazon distribution center that is being built will also bring 1,000 new jobs to the county.

By the time Facebook’s expansion is complete, it will employ 300 people.

“There’s a real confluence, I think, of factors that makes Sarpy County the ideal place to first of all, identify as a site and expand and grow. First of which is access to good infrastructure and public roads,” said Matt Sexton, the Community Development Regional Manager at Facebook’s data center.

Sexton also says the experienced local construction workforce and access to 100% renewable wind energy to power the site is what drive companies like Facebook to the area.

The construction alone for the massive building employs 2,000 workers.

Rainbolt tells 6 News that these facilities create meaningful, long-term partnerships with local businesses and schools, and stimulate the economy.

“the other jobs and those primary jobs support [the economy], everyone’s going out to lunch, looking for entertainment, there’s people who have maybe never been to Sarpy and lived in Omaha and they’re heading down there to work so that’s something that has a ripple effect on the entire economy and Sarpy County too.”

The expansion will jump from Papillion to Springfield, where Rainbolt says it will double the size of Springfield’s city limits and provide millions of dollars in property taxes that will support local schools there.

Other ripple effects of the sites in the area include more travelers, and the addition of a non-stop flight from Omaha to the Bay Area, another tech-hub.

Facebook has 17 other data center sites across the world, and 13 of them are in the United States. The facility in Papillion and Springfield will be one of the largest.

The enormous buildings house thousands of servers as well as cooling technology that stores, protects and transmits information from billions of people across the world that use Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

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