Hormel Institute’s expansion project steadily moving forward

Published 10:29am Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Hormel Institute’s upcoming expansion is proceeding well, Community Development Director Craig Hoium told the Austin City Council Tuesday night.


The Institute is adding a little more than 63,000-square feet to the east side of its current building, where the east parking lot currently is, as part of a three-story expansion to add 20 labs. In addition, a potential 8,300-square foot lecture hall that could seat 200 to 250 people may be built on the northeast side of The Institute.

Parking will likely be placed to the southeast of the expansion, close to Interstate 90, according to Hoium.

“If you look at the appearance from the interstate, the building height will be the same,” Hoium said.

The $27-million project is expected to break ground this summer after two years of planning and securing funding by Institute and Austin Port Authority officials. The port authority approved in December RSP Architects of Minneapolis to design the expansion.

Institute and city officials have worked on the project for several years, only to see it delayed last year.
The Hormel Foundation, through Learning Tree LLC, began buying properties east of the Institute for the expansion as early as September 2010, while city officials and the Institute planned to seek state dollars for the project in 2011.
State legislators secured half of the $27 million project in a 2012 bonding bill after the Hormel Foundation pledged to match state funding. The foundation announced last month it would donate $23 million to expansion efforts, with $9.5 million of that going to recruit scientists for the 20 or so new labs to come with the addition.
A fundraising campaign to raise $3 million is also in the works.

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