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Yahoo! construction advances
Yahoo! construction advances
Phase 2 has begun; data center to open by September
By Thomas J. Prohaska
NEWS NIAGARA REPORTER
Published: July 08, 2010
LOCKPORT — Construction on the second phase of the Yahoo! East Coast data center has begun, even though the first phase is not quite complete.
The Internet giant is putting the pedal to the metal to get the entire project into operation before the end of this year, town Economic Development Coordinator David R. Kinyon said.
“They don’t mess around,” he said.
Yahoo! had said when it agreed to place the $150 million complex in the town’s industrial park that the first phase might not be ready to run until late this year and the construction of the second phase wouldn’t start until 2011.
Terrell Karlsten, vice president of communications for Yahoo!, said in an e-mail to The Buffalo News that a grand opening for the first phase will be held in September, which is when it will begin operations.
“The exterior work is near completion, and we are working on interior furnishings,” Karlsten wrote.
Kinyon confirmed that timeline, but he added, “My information is, they expect Phase 2 to be operational in December.”
The second phase is a smaller project. Phase 1, on which ground was broken in August 2009, involved the construction of an administration building and three 33,000-square-foot data pods to the west of the administration building.
Phase 2 will add two more matching data pods to the east of the administration center.
“Phase 1 is concluding. The final inspections by the town Building Inspection Department are supposed to occur next week, so they can get their certificate of occupancy,” Kinyon said.
Councilman Paul H. Pettit reported at last week’s Town Board session that the foundations for Phase 2 already have been dug.
Kinyon said, “Yahoo! has been very pleased with the construction trades on the job and the cooperation of the contractors.”
Each data pod will be stuffed with computer hardware as Yahoo! tries to beef up its Internet search, e-mail and news services.
About 75 jobs are to be filled at the Lockport plant off Junction Road. According to Yahoo!’s employment Web page at www.ydatacentersblog.com, technician and security jobs are available.
“They are still in the process of hiring. They have hired several individuals,” Kinyon said.
Lockport was chosen as the site in part because of Western New York’s normally cool weather. The pods are aligned to take advantage of the prevailing southwest wind off Lake Erie to reduce cooling costs.
The New York Power Authority granted Yahoo! 15 megawatts of discount electricity for the center, or enough to power 15,000 average-sized homes.
Each pod also has a 2-megawatt diesel-powered emergency generator, and a 750-kilowatt diesel generator will protect the administration building from power failures.
Yahoo! bought 30 acres of land from the town for $450,000 and was handed a 20- year property tax break, including a promise of no property taxes at all for the first 10 years.