The Hormel Institute's Gail Dennison holds up a sign thanking Austin. -- Herald file photo
The Hormel Institute's Gail Dennison holds up a sign thanking Austin. -- Herald file photo

New year, new optimism

Published 7:01am Monday, January 6, 2014

7. The Hormel Institute’s $27-million expansion should finally break ground

Within months, construction crews will begin work on The Hormel Institute’s long-awaited, $27-million expansion of its cancer research facility.

hson, hired by the Austin Port Authority, said last week the project still looks to be on schedule. Construction for new parking spaces east of the facility could begin as early as May. The building expansion could start in July.

“That’s what we’re pushing for,” Erichson said.

After much anticipation, state legislators secured half of the $27-million project in a 2012 bonding bill after The Hormel Foundation pledged to match state funding.

Then, in July 2013, The Institute upped its pledge from $13 million to $23 million toward the efforts, with an extra $9.5 million to recruit scientists for the roughly 20 new labs inside the future building.

In December, the Port Authority, which technically owns the expansion building, hired the St. Paul-based McGough firm as construction manager of the project. McGough will receive about 3.65 percent, or as much as $800,000, for construction work, which officials estimate should take about $22 million. Other expenses include design, interior furnishings and more. Twin Cities-based RSP Architects is designing the project. Local contractors have not yet bid for subprojects.

Institute officials hope to complete the expansion — which will likely double the facility’s size and add about 120 employees — by 2015.

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