Governor Patrick celebrates completion of first phase of MGHPCC

November 29, 2011

Governor Deval Patrick today joined academic leaders and state and local officials to celebrate the MGHPCC “topping off” ceremony, marking the completion of the steel structure of the new facility.

HOLYOKE – Tuesday, November 29, 2011 – Governor Deval Patrick today joined academic leaders and state and local officials to celebrate the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center’s “topping off” ceremony, marking the completion of the steel structure of the cutting edge facility. The project is expected to create a total of 600 construction jobs, 130 research jobs at the partnering universities and 13 permanent positions at the center.
“The progress celebrated today on the High Performance Computing Center is a vital step forward in helping grow our innovation economy and creating jobs here in the Pioneer Valley and across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick. “This project and its continued progress is a result of the Administration’s commitment to being a reliable partner to our local communities and businesses.”
The facility will anchor Holyoke’s new Innovation District, help spur economic growth in the city and help keep Massachusetts on the leading edge of scientific research.
“The High Performance Computing Center will lead to greater economic growth in the City of Holyoke, Pioneer Valley and the entire Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “By developing this center, we are supporting advances in technology and research that will further position Massachusetts as a world leader in innovation.”
In March 2010, Governor Patrick designated the Holyoke Innovation District as the 20th Growth District in Massachusetts and announced $25 million in state funds to move the project forward. MassDevelopment has also been vital in supporting the project’s progress, through awarding $14.5 million in New Market Tax credits and $1.3 million in Brownfields funding for remediation.
The “topping off” ceremony is an ironworkers’ tradition marking the completion of a building’s steel structure. Members of Ironworkers Local 7 placed the final 18-foot-long, 800-pound steel beam on the 90,000-square foot structure, which will house a world-class computing center to support the computational research needs of the individual academic institutions including Boston University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, EMC Corporation and Cisco Systems Inc. The facility will also allow for unprecedented collaboration among the universities to help support research on issues such as cyber security and climate change, as well as advance and showcase both the research and practice of energy efficient computing and green building design. The final beam is typically adorned with an American flag and evergreen tree and for today’s celebration, the Commonwealth flag was also included.
“The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke and the High Speed Data Center coming to downtown Springfield will bring new life to our sprawling urban centers, allow products and services from Hampden County to reach a world-wide audience, and reinvigorate the economies of western Massachusetts,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “I look forward to representing Holyoke and having the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in my constituency.”
Construction of the MGHPCC began in the fall of 2010 and is expected to be complete by the end of 2012. The estimated cost of the construction, $95 million, will be funded by the five universities, state government, the Federal New Markets Tax Credit program, EMC and Cisco. The universities will pay for the computer hardware to be housed in the facility. The next phase of construction will include the pouring of concrete floors.
“The topping-off of the Green High-Performance Computing Center represents a symbolic transition to a new economy while remaining true to Holyoke’s roots as a community that places value on both tradition and innovation,” said Senator Michael Knapik. “I am pleased this Consortium has recognized the strength of this city, its resources and its people.”
“As the final steel beam being placed on the Green High Performance Computing Center marks the beginning of a new phase of construction, I believe it also marks the beginning of a new era of revitalization to Holyoke’s downtown,” said Representative Michael F. Kane. “Holyoke’s economic successes have always been the result of our ability to put new technology to work and there are some remarkable parallels between our industrial past and our high tech future.”
“I’m thrilled and impressed that within just two and a half years after the project was first announced, the building has taken shape,” said Holyoke Mayor Elaine A. Pluta. “This level of commitment and follow-through by the key drivers of this project – the Patrick-Murray Administration, the five universities, the city and our corporate partners — is an encouraging and exciting sign of the long-term impact this project will have on our city and our region.”
“Cisco is very excited about the great progress of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center initiative that is marked by today’s important construction milestone and feels very fortunate to be working with a diverse and talented team that is focused on harnessing the power of collaboration to drive forward the innovation agenda in Massachusetts by utilizing new breakthroughs in technology to support the next wave of research and strengthen our regional science, technology and innovation leadership,” said Paul Bosco, VP/GM & Site Executive of Cisco’s New England Development Center. “We continue to view this exceptional collaboration emerging across government, industry and academia as a strong foundation for broader success in the Commonwealth and the Pioneer Valley region.”
“EMC is very pleased to support this strong and innovative collaboration between our world-renowned private and public research universities, government and private industry,” said Chris Goode, Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs & Public Policy at EMC. “This innovative public/private partnership will support a world-class research agenda; contribute to greater innovation, competitiveness and economic growth in western Massachusetts and throughout our state; and enable Massachusetts to continue as not only a national leader, but a global leader in science and technology.”
“It is exciting to see our shared plans for a high performance computing center becoming a reality and to begin moving from the construction phase of the project to the collaborations between researchers that will be possible in this state-of-the-art facility,” said Dr. Robert A. Brown, the President of Boston University and Chairman of the MGHPCC.
“Not only are we seeing today the physical manifestation of our shared economic vision for Holyoke and the Pioneer Valley, but we are already seeing, in funding and community grants, the commitment and collaboration that all of us had hoped would spring from this endeavor,” said Kathleen Anderson, Director of the Holyoke Office of Planning and Development and Co-Chair of the Holyoke Innovation District Design and Development Task Force.
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