Rhode Island Seeking Site for Data Center

The state of Rhode Island is seeking a 50,000 to 70,000 square foot building to serve as the new state data center, replacing an aging facility housed in a former used car lot.

The state of Rhode Island is seeking a 50,000 to 70,000 square foot building to serve as the new state data center, replacing an aging facility housed in a former used car lot. The state Department of Administration has placed newspaper ads seeking property owners in the Providence area interested in selling their building.   

The Providence Journal notes that the data center relocation effort is being launched as Rhode Island faces a huge budget deficit. Amy Kempe, a spokesperson for Gov. Donald Carcieri, said the search is driven by the condition of the existing state data center. "The current center is a former used-car-lot building that is in poor shape and has more value to the surrounding businesses in the area," Kempe told the Journal. "By relocating the IT department, the building and land can be sold at the appropriate time.”

The state's main data center is housed in a former Volkswagen dealership in Johnston, which was bought for $505,000 in 1981. The state's capital plan includes $8.9 million for a new IT center, but officials said the depressed state of the commercial real estate market may allow them to acquire a property for less than that and bank the savings.

The Providence paper outlined the state's search criteria:  

The state is seeking to buy a handicapped-accessible building that is within 15 miles of the generating source for its power, has 250 dedicated parking spaces and a security system that is already equipped with "multi-layer entry, card access, camera active surveillance," has a rooftop gas-fired heating, cooling and ventilation system and meets specific electrical-power requirements, according to the State Properties Committee Web page.

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