Meta’s DeKalb Data Center Now Online

Mayor Cohen Barnes and City Manager Bill Nicklas joined Governor J.B. Pritzker, Meta leadership and project partners on Nov. 29 for a ceremonial flipping of the switch as the DeKalb Data Center went online.

Joining Meta’s global infrastructure is a milestone for the $1 billion project, which broke ground in 2020. Since then, Governor Pritzker said over 1,200 skilled trades people have been hard at work constructing the first million square feet with still yet another 1.3-million square feet to build.

“So, there are many jobs, and I hope people will take note that if you’re looking for work that you want to be in DeKalb,” said Pritzker, noting the facility will also support hundreds of operations jobs. “This data center is bringing investment and vitality to a truly growing region.”

Along with creating jobs, Mayor Barnes said Meta has diversified the City’s tax base allowing the hiring of police officers and firefighters while investing in the nonprofit community.

“It’s not just a pretty building, not just a cool data center, the lives of people have been directly impacted significantly,” said Barnes. “Thank you, Meta, and I look forward as we continue doing more construction projects, working together with you as a great partner.”

Barnes also thanked Jerry Krusinski, manager of the ChicagoWest Business Center, for having the vision to develop the site that is now home to the most energy efficient data center in the world.

“We are pleased to work together with Meta and Illinois leadership for the economic benefit of Illinois businesses and residents,” said Krusinski. “This is a model for what can be accomplished through effective partnerships among communities, government and private industry.”

At the ceremony, Meta announced it will be expanding its commitment to the DeKalb community through a new partnership with Northern Illinois University to address the gap of underrepresented populations in STEM careers. Meta is supporting the NIU Barb City STEAM Studio — a new, year-round initiative on the NIU campus designed to increase college and career readiness for DeKalb High School students interested in engineering, robotics and other in-demand fields.

From City of DeKalb enewsletter