Telus will build data centre in Kamloops
School District No. 73 is $7-million richer after working out a deal with Telus for the sale of a piece of property on which the communications company will build a data centre.
The land is believed to be a parcel on McGill Road and was never intended to house a school.
“This is a good deal for our school district and for Kamloops taxpayers,” said SD73 board chairman Ken Christian.
“This new funding will allow us to do a great deal to enhance our children’s education.”
The school district’s annual budget for equipment, computers, vehicles and construction is $1.2 million, so the $7-million sale represents a significant cash injection.
Christian said jobs created by the construction of the data centre will mean more children in local schools and more local tax dollars.
Telus spokesman Shawn Hall said environmental remediation will now begin on the site, with construction of the data centre — planned to be “one of the greenest” in Canada — likely to begin within months.
“It’s an industrial site and it’s been an industrial site for many, many years,” he said.
“It’s going to take us a few months [to do environmental remediation].
“This is really the first step. From here, we need to do a lot of planning.”
Hall said the data centre building itself will be “substantial” and will create a number of jobs, both in construction and after it is complete.
“I don’t have a number to give you simply because we’re in the early stages of this,” he said.
“But, it’s a big project.
“We have several of these across Canada.
“Just like it sounds, they store data. Enterprise customers would hire us to store their data.
“It’s essentially a big building full of servers storing people’s data.”
Telus chose Kamloops for the data centre, Hall said, for a number of reasons.
“The whole region offers us geological stability,” he said, noting earthquake-prone areas are not ideal for server storage.
“Kamloops also has good, reliable power supply with redundancy, and it’s got a strong labour force.”
Hall said more details about the data centre will be released in the coming weeks and months.