A new data center opened near Des Moines yesterday. Although it wasn't the massive Microsoft cloud server farm that Iowans have been anticipating, the new facility in Waukee showcases another key growth market for Midwest data centers: health care.
TEAM Technologies and the Iowa Health System held a grand opening for the $15 million first phase of a 46,000 square foot data center in Waukee, Iowa. The facility will house the patient and employee records for Iowa Health and be managed by TEAM Companies, which is building a network of data centers in second-tier markets in the upper Midwest. TEAM has existing facilities in Cedar Falls, Iowa and Fitchburg, Wisconsin.
“When we’re dealing with millions of records every year that contain confidential and critical information, it requires the utmost care and expertise,” said William B. Leaver, president and CEO of Iowa Health System, which employs more than 19,000 workers “Iowa Health System and TEAM Technologies thoroughly and
completely understand the responsibility associated with maintaining and managing this data.”
Data centers have become big business in the Midwest, and Iowa has been one of the pioneers. Council Bluffs is home to a new Google data center, and Microsoft announced plans to build a major data center in West Des Moines. That project is now on hold, a victim of belt-tightening due to the economic downturn.
But Iowa has gotten a boost from home-grown companies like TEAM and Iowa Health. "The technology industry in Iowa is continuously growing and this new facility provides a boost to Iowa’s economy, supporting and expanding employment,” said Jeff Rossate, business development division administrator with the Iowa Department of Economic Development. "This data center – and others – are helping to further position Iowa as a progressive leader in technology.”
The Waukee project received $550,000 in sales tax incentives and property tax incentives of roughly $350,000, the companies said.
The 46,000 square foot facility is built to keep vital information secure and safe from disaster. The data center features retina scanners for personal identification, and 14 to 24-inch concrete and steel reinforced walls with the ability to withstand an F4 tornado.
“In addition to being fail-safe facilities, our data centers are designed from the ground up for energy and cooling efficiency, providing minimal impact on the environment and local community,” said Mark Kittrell, vice president of business development for TEAM Technologies. “It’s an investment in the future of our industry to continuously protect our environment and enhance our services.”