Facebook appears to “like” New Albany.
The social media giant said Thursday that its New Albany data center is up and running, and that it plans to add two more buildings with nearly 1 million square feet of space.
When complete, Facebook’s campus will have five buildings with 2.5 million square feet of space and a total investment of $1 billion, said Bobby Hollis, director of global energy, environment and site selection for Facebook.
“We look forward to continuing this strong partnership for many years to come,” Hollis said.
The data center, south of Rt. 161 and east of Beech Road, will employ more than 150 people, Facebook spokeswoman Melanie Rue said. It currently has about 50 employees.
The first two buildings on the 340-acre campus went online Thursday, said Mike Reffle, director of data center operations for Facebook.
The third building will be completed next year, Reffle said, and the next two in the next few years.
Facebook announced plans to build the data center, which helps bring Facebook apps and services to billions of people around the world, in August 2017. At peak construction, the site had 1,200 workers.
Since then, the company has made its local presence felt in more ways than its sheer size.
The company recently gave $250,000 to New Albany for the city’s Rose Run stream corridor revitalization project, including construction of a 34-foot-long bridge and promenade that connects the New Albany Plain-Local School District campus on the north side of Dublin-Granville Road to the New Albany branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library to the south.
Facebook also provided a $190,000 grant to the Licking Heights Local School District for the science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics curriculum, Reffle said.
Dispatch reporter Mark Williams contributed to this report.