FBI starts construction on major data center in Pocatello

The FBI started construction in early October on a $100 million, 100,000-square foot data center in Pocatello that is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s effort to consolidate all the FBI data centers at two core enterprise facilities in Idaho and West Virginia.

The Pocatello site is an expansion of an existing data center.

The FBI has had a Pocatello presence for 30 years, and now has offices for nine FBI divisions, including investigations, intelligence analysis, information technology, records management and all travel arrangements, according to an FBI release.

The new data center will add 350 new FBI jobs, Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad said.

“That 350 people will have a payroll of $30 million,” Blad told the Idaho Business Review. “We’re adding an extra $30 million into our community with that data center.”

Construction will involve up to 1,700 workers, Blad added. The center is expected to open in winter or spring 2019, FBI spokeswoman Kelsey Pietranton said.

The general contractor is JE Dunn Construction of Kansas City, Mo. The architect is Corgan of Dallas.

Big employers typically beget a swarm of smaller supplier companies.

Dennis Kelly
Dennis Kelly

Arlington, Va.-based Buchanan & Edwards recently brought in a dozen employees to assist with designing the FBI’s data center operations, CEO Dennis Kelly said.

Buchanan & Edwards will have 50 employees on board in Pocatello by early December.

“Buchanan & Edwards is looking to fill high tech jobs that pay $80,000 to $140,000 per year, which will have a major positive impact on our community’s economy and talent base,” said John Regetz, executive director of the Bannock Development Corp., the Pocatello region’s corporate recruiter.

Many new Buchanan & Edwards employees are moving to Pocatello from bigger cities, Kelly said.

Note: This article was updated with information that the FBI is Buchanan & Edwards’ client at 10:35 a.m. Oct. 30.


FBI to build data center in Pocatello

The FBI will build a Tier III data center in Pocatello. It will be one of only three U.S. Department of Justice data centers as the department has worked for more than five years to consolidate more than 100 such operations.

Pocatello will get a 100,000-square-foot facility valued at more than $10 million with a capacity of 5.4 megawatts, according to the project’s request for proposals.

Tier III is the second highest rating for data centers according to the Uptime Institute, which established tier standards for IT service availability.Nearly all of the nation’s 73 Tier III data centers are from the private sector. The Pacific Northwest currently has only four.

The tier rating system evaluates a data center’s “power, cooling, maintenance and capability to withstand a fault,” according to Uptime.

The selection process for a design and construction team is underway with design to start in early 2017 and construction beginning in summer 2017. Completion will be in the summer of 2018, FBI spokeswoman Sandra Barker said.

The data center is an expansion of the FBI’s current facility in Pocatello.

“It’s property they owned here,” Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad said about the FBI’s reason for choosing his city for a data center. “Years ago, they purchased property here.”

Blad has worked with the FBI on the project for five years. The bureau will become a Top 15 employer in Pocatello when the data center opens, he said.

“What I have been told is they are looking at anywhere from 300 to 500 employees,” the mayor said. “These are jobs typically that will not leave the community. I’ve heard (average salaries) of $60,000. I’ve heard $80,000.”