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Foxconn tops off steel frame for globe-shaped data center

Foxconn Technology Group announced on Thursday that crews have finished using structural steel to top off a 100-foot globe-shaped data center at the company’s Mount Pleasant campus.

The so-called High-Performance Computing Data Center is part of a six-building complex for Foxconn Industrial Internet, or Fii, a subsidiary that works on automation and so-called smart manufacturing. Crews led by Mortenson Construction completed the frame of the globe-shaped data center and will now begin installing more than 600 pieces of glass to enclose the structure.

Foxconn said it has spent more than $750 million — on capital structures, salaries and other things — since breaking ground at the Mount Pleasant site in 2018.

“The structural completion of the HPCDC Globe is another example of Foxconn’s ongoing investment in Wisconsin,” said Robert Schlaeger of Foxconn. “In addition to continued investment, the (data center) is a necessary function of the advanced manufacturing ecosystem that will make the (Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park) an attractive place to create jobs.”

In addition to the 11,000-square-foot data center, crews are building an equipment shed nearby. The data center is part of an Fii complex that also has a 260,000-square-foot manufacturing center that could employ as many as 500 people. Work began on the data center last year.

Separately, President Donald Trump’s top trade adviser on Thursday praised Foxconn’s manufacturing project, despite ongoing questions about the Taiwan-based company’s contract for billions in state tax credits.

Peter Navarro, White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, told the State Journal he’s confident Foxconn Technology Group’s project will reach completion when the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think that will bear great fruit down the road as the world economy recovers and they come online with all of their facilities,” Navarro said.

The state’s 2017 contract with Foxconn would provide incentives totaling as much as $3 billion over 15 years if Foxconn reaches its 13,000-employee benchmark and makes a $10 billion capital investment in the state. Trump called the project a transformational deal for the state and national economy.

However, the original plan to build large panels for TV screens has been scrapped in favor of manufacturing small screens for mobile phones, tablets, notebooks and wearable devices. Some are wondering where the project will end up.

Asked about the status of Foxconn’s contract with the state, Navarro described opposition to the project as “noise” by Democrats.

– The Associated Press contributed to this article

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About Nate Beck, nbeck@dailyreporter.com

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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