An aerial view of construction progress on Facebook's new data center in Altoona, Iowa. The company is ready to begin construction on a second building.  (Photo: Facebook)

An aerial view of construction progress on Facebook's new data center in Altoona, Iowa. The company is ready to begin construction on a second building. (Photo: Facebook)

Facebook Ready to Begin Second Data Center in Iowa

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The Iowa data center boom continues. Facebook hasn’t even finished its first massive data center building in Altoona, Iowa. But the social networking company is ready to begin construction on a second 476,000 square foot building to house its growing armada of servers.

“The City of Altoona Planning and Zoning Board will review our plans tomorrow evening, April 29,” Facebook said on its page for the Altoona Data Center. “From there, they’ll go before the Altoona City Council on May 5. Pending the Council’s approval, we’ll break ground on the new building shortly.”

These are giddy days for the data center business in Iowa. The announcement comes just a week after just a week after Microsoft unveiled plans for a $1.1 billion expansion of its operations in West Des Moines. Meanwhile, Google has announced expansions to its campus in Council Bluffs that will bring its investments in Iowa to more than $1.5 billion.

How does this translate into economic activity and jobs? Facebook has provided some metrics on its Altoona project, which has employed more than 460 construction workers logging more than 435,000 hours in the ongoing construction.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased by the progress we’ve made, and we’re grateful for the kindness we’ve received from our friends and neighbors here in Altoona,” the company said.

The Facebook Altoona data center was announced in April of 2013, when the company began building the $299.5 million first phase of the campus. Plans call for a total of three data centers on its 200-acre Altoona campus, which is nestled alongside Route 80 and has access to significant supplies of fiber and power.

One of the deciding factors on choosing Altoona was the opportunity to help develop a new wind project in the state. The new data center will be supported 100 percent by wind energy,

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