The Austin Bruins have created a phenomena in Paint the Rink Pink which raises money to be donated to the Hormel Institute. The rest of the town has joined in with Paint the Town Pink which is gearing up for its second year.

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Into the future: 10 stories to look for in 2013

Published 10:52am Wednesday, January 2, 2013

1. Hormel Institute to begin expansion project

A $27-million expansion of The Hormel Institute is set to begin this year.

A spring groundbreaking has been planned for the project that is expected to bring about 120 jobs over five years to the area.

During a recent Austin Port Authority meeting, Public Works Director Jon Erichson said The Hormel Institute’s expansion is going along as planned.

It’s been a long time coming since Minnesota lawmakers passed the bonding bill in May 2012 to give The Institute $13.5 million toward the expansion.

“Quickly it became the hallmark project for the area and the state,” Poppe said in May. “We’re very thankful to be able to bring the project home.”

The Port Authority, the city’s economic-development entity, requested the $13.5 million and will build, own and manage The Institute’s expansion.

City officials have held several project development meetings with Hormel Foundation representatives, and survey work for a preliminary plat of the Institute’s existing property is under way, with the plat expected to go before the City Council in January. Lease agreements between The Hormel Foundation and the Port Authority are being drawn up, as the Foundation owns the land the new expansion will go on but the Port Authority will own the building.

Along with the new jobs, the expansion that also will strengthen The Hormel Institute’s “BioScience Triangle” partnerships with the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic.

Plans for the expansion include adding 15 state-of-the-art laboratories on the Institute’s east side and better space for its growing International Center of Research Technology.

It’s not the first expansion in recent years.

In 2008, The Institute celebrated an expansion and renovation project — fully paid for privately — that tripled its size and added space for doubling the number of jobs of research faculty and staff. Additional space now is needed because those labs created by the 2006-2008 project are full.

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