The state of Massachusetts will spend $76 million to transform a former high school in Springfield into a major new data center, which will supplement the state's primary facility in Chelsea. The project has been in the works for several years while state legislators have been wrangling over the best location for the new investment. The former Springfield Technical High School was selected over the Springfield Technical Community College.
The site location decision was based on a "thorough, impartial technical analysis" by the state Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM), the Information Technology Division (ITD) and an unnamed outside consultant. The review found that the Tech High site would save the state millions of dollars in procurement and construction costs.
"The second data center in Springfield will allow us to better manage and protect the systems that provide essential services to our citizens," said Anne Margulies, the state’s Chief Information Officer. "The Second Data Center is also a key part of our strategy to manage our technology in a more cost effective manner and to become a national model for green and environmental friendly data centers."
It will take about two years to build out the 114,000 square foot facility, and the project is expected to create approximately 200 construction jobs. Thirty five workers will staff the first phase of the facility, with up to 70 full-time employees on staff when the project is complete.
Jerrold M. Grochow, Vice President for Information Services and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the Springfield site is located far enough away from Chelsea to serve as a reliable backup. "The Commonwealth has shown that it fully understands the importance of computer operations to the business of government," Grochow said. "This makes excellent sense for the government and will provide real value to the taxpayers in the long run."