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C Spire breaks ground on Starkville data center




Carl Smith



C Spire ceremonially broke ground Monday on a $20 million data-processing facility at Mississippi State University's Thad Cochran Research Park. 


The 23,800-square-foot facility should be completed in November 2014 and is expected to be one of only 52 Tier 3 or 4 U.S. data centers rated by the Uptime Institute. Unveiled by economic developers and corporate representatives in October, the facility will offer colocation, cloud-based computing, disaster recovery, data storage and enterprise solutions. 


The project is expected to spur about 100 temporary construction jobs and create five or six high-paying permanent jobs -- about $50,000-$60,000 per position. Plans include the potential for at least two additional expansion phases that could create similar job numbers. 


C Spire COO Kevin Hankins previously told the Dispatch C Spire chose Starkville for the investment due to the area's lower natural disaster risk compared to other possible Mississippi sites, the park's multiple electricity sources and the economic development incentives procured by the Golden Triangle Development Link. 


Both the Starkville Board of Aldermen and Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors previously approved 10-year tax abatements to help entice investors. Ad valorem taxes will be waived under the agreement, but school taxes remain due. Officials anticipate the impending consolidated school district will receive about $225,000 alone from C Spire. 


"Make no mistake about it, a $20 million development investment is a huge capital investment, one of, if not the largest, private capital investments we've ever had," Mayor Parker Wiseman said after C Spire's October announcement. "This project is going to change the landscape of the community. Cities are known for the corporate citizens that call them home. I think the most exciting part of this we have the opportunity to welcome C Spire to Starkville. That name is going to be synonymous with the city of Starkville."


Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch



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