In the final weeks of 2016, The Papillion City Council approved a major data center project in Sarpy County, Nebraska - 146 acres, at the time featuring four data halls at 610,000 square foot (56,670 sq m) each (although that has since changed).

But the identity of the data center’s owner was kept a secret - or at least it was meant to be, with DCD finding a paper trail outing Facebook as the company behind the scenes. Now, the social media giant has finally come out of the shadows.

Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook's Fort Worth data center
Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s Fort Worth data center – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10103423046494181&set=pb.4.-2207520000.1486033058.&type=3&t

Surprise

At a press conference at Papillion City Hall attended by Governor Pete Ricketts, State Senator John Murante, Papillion Mayor David Black and Tom Furlong, VP of infrastructure for Facebook, the company officially revealed it was behind the project all along.

Facebook’s Furlong said that the data center campus has been in the works for years, while Governor Ricketts added that it will create hundreds of (temporary) jobs.

An earlier proposal put the number of construction jobs at 150.

Update: Facebook plans to build two 450,000 sq ft (41,800 sq m) data center halls, as well as a 70,000 sq ft (6,500 sq m) administrative building. Construction is expected to take about 18 months, with the data center coming online in 2020.

Details are still forthcoming, but fans of the minutiae of Facebook’s facilities and their impact on local populations would do well to look at the results of a study on the company’s upcoming data center in Los Lunas.

The Sarpy data center is the second Facebook has announced this year, coming a few months after it confirmed it plans to build a facility in Odense, Denmark.