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Facebook readies second Iowa data centre

Iowa is getting its second dose of Facebook as the company gears up to break ground on another data centre.

Dubbed "Altoona 2," the building will be erected on the Facebook Altoona campus, where the first local data centre is just finishing construction.

According to a Facebook post, the City of Altoona Planning and Zoning Board is set to review the company's plans today. If all goes well, the blueprints will be presented to the Altoona City Council on May 5.

Pending the council's approval, Facebook will break ground on the new building "shortly." A timeline has not been revealed.

Altoona 2 will be roughly the same size and layout as the first building (presumably called Altoona 1), which, once operational, will join Facebook's other data centres in Prineville, Oreg., Forest City, NC, and Lulea, Sweden.

"With the support of the terrific partners we've found here in Iowa, Altoona will also be part of the cutting-edge infrastructure that will soon play a crucial role in connecting billions around the world," Facebook said. "We're thrilled to be here and investing further in this great community.

The social network announced its Altoona expansion last April, citing the city's "abundance of wind-generated power" and community of talent to help build and operate the facility. The 476,000-square-foot building cost at least $299.5 million (£178m), and has been constructed in phases.

"More than 460 people, mostly from the central Iowa region, have worked every day on the project, logging more than 435,000 hours in the ongoing construction of the 476,000-square-foot building," Facebook said. "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."

Last year, the company suggested that the 194-acre site could accommodate up to two additional data centres. There is no word on whether a third building is in the stars.

Facebook did not disclose how much the Altoona 2 project will cost.