HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Meta Huntsville Data Center will add two new buildings – raising the company’s local investment to $1.5 billion and expands the campus to almost 3.5 million square feet.
The expansion, announced on Thursday, will bring the facility to 300 jobs.
Head of Community Development for Meta in the United States, Katie Comer, said it will add permanent jobs, and jobs during construction.
“This expansion represents an additional 100 jobs being added to the campus, as well as 1,300 construction workers being there on average at peak” Comer said.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, announced the $750 million data center with around 100 jobs in 2018. At that time, Meta called Huntsville a “natural fit for Facebook.” The data center became operational last year.
“Huntsville has proven to be a great home for our data center, and we are excited to be expanding even further,” the company wrote on Facebook. “Thank you to Huntsville/Madison County Chamber, the City of Huntsville, Alabama – Government, and the Huntsville Urban and Economic Development team, and all of our community partners for all their ongoing support. We love Huntsville!”
Comer said when Meta looks at which facilities it wants to expand, it keeps several factors in mind.
“Looking at Huntsville, I think access to that infrastructure is critical” she said. “I also think when you look at access to local workforce we pride ourselves on hiring local talent, and Huntsville offers so many great local opportunities for local students and it’s just a great pipeline for our data center.”
In addition to new facilities, Meta is allocating new grants to local organizations.
The first is a $300,000 grant in support of local schools and STEM education. The second is $225,000 to support the Raise Your Hand program, an initiative that aims to add 500 new National Board Certified Teachers to the Huntsville, Madison City, and Madison County school systems.
The final grant is $75,000 towards the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering in support of STEM equipment for the school. As of 2022, Meta has given more than $1.5 million to Huntsville-area schools.
Chip Cherry, President & CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce also emphasized the tax revenue brought in by Meta.
“The education taxes they pay will support our school systems for decades to come, which helps us have the resources we need to be able to provide the high quality public education we’re known for” Cherry said.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle echoed that statement. “The investment into the schools is something that we think is very important” Mayor Battle said.
The Mayor also pointed out how adding 100 jobs won’t be a strain our local infrastructure.
“This is the kind of growth that we need for our area, just so that we don’t overshoot our infrastructure and that we can provide the same services tomorrow, that we can provide today” he said.
To learn more about Meta and its operations in the Rocket City, visit the data center’s Facebook page.