Smaller Towns Seeking Data Centers

Locla officials in Fitchburg, Wisconsin and Lowell, Wyoming are among a growing number of smaller towns planning data center projects.

Fitchburg, Wisconsin and Lowell, Wyoming may not strike you as typical candidates for data center projects. But officials in both towns this week advanced plans for technology parks include data center facilities designed to attract technology jobs. The projects suggest that interest in the economic value of data center development is extending well beyond traditional technology corridors.

Plans for a 51,000 square foor data center in Fitchburg, Wisconsin are poised to move ahead after gaining support of the Fitchburg Plan Commission this week. The data center will be developed by Team Technologies of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and is one component of a planned technology campus. Berbee Information Networks would serve as the anchor tenant in the data center and an adjacent 43,250 square foot office property.

Berbee, a Madison-based technology services company, will lease about 50 percent of the office building, according to local media reports. Last year, Berbee was acquired by the Vernon Hills, Illinois-based CDW Corp., a Fortune 500 company that would like to help Berbee grow into a $1 billion company. Berbee already has two data centers - one in Madison and one in Minneapolis. The company reports more than $300 million in annual revenue and employs more than 700 people in 11 Midwestern cities.

In Wyoming, the town of Lovell hopes to land a high-tech telecommunications data center to be built just east of town at the Lovell Rodeo Grounds complex. Chris Davidson and Marla Leithead of TCT WEST and John Nickle, who is working with the company on the project, came before the Lovell Town Council Monday night to seek funding for the data center and sponsorship of a Wyoming Business Ready Communities grant to build a building and run utilities to the site, according to local media.

The proposal being developed would be submitted to a 10-company telecommunications consortium called Bolt Data Centers, which has one data center in Missouri and wants to build two more.