Counting down: 12 for 2012

Published 8:54 am Sunday, January 1, 2012

Jim Mino, director of engineering at Hormel, explains in May the details of the company's planned expansion.

5. Expansions galore throughout Austin

Austin will be well on its way to a new look by the end of 2012.

Along with the planned Hormel Institute expansion, Hormel Foods Corp.’s corporate offices, Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin, the Humane Society, the Paramount Theatre, Riverland Community College and Government Center are all at varying points in construction projects.

•Riverland Community College: In December, Riverland officials announced plans to add a more than $3 million, 17,000-square-foot childcare center.

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The center will be located on Austin’s West Building and will serve about 200 full-time and 200 part-time children ages 5 and younger.

Childcare is one of the top ten community needs cited in recent United Way survey.

•Hormel Foods Corp.’s corporate offices: After a June 13 groundbreaking, Hormel is getting ready to wrap up a facelift to its northern corporate offices in January. The expansion, the first for Hormel in more than 20 years, includes new conference room space, an auditorium for large group meetings, an exercise room, a cafeteria and food service area, and additional parking.

•Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin: The medical center has a new name, and it’s new look is beginning to slowly take shape. The $28 million, 86,500-square-foot, three-story expansion broke ground last summer and is projected to last 20-24 months and cost $28 million. The expansion is expected to create 70 full-time jobs, including nine new physicians.

•Mower County Humane Society: MCHS volunteers have long known their shelter isn’t equipped for more than 100 cats and about 20 to 25 dogs have become the normal population size at the animal shelter. The shelter has the land for a new home and some money already set aside.

•The Paramount Theatre: Leaders at the historic theater is looking to secure grants for an expansion that could bring stage improvements, more seating, a bigger lobby area, extra office space and possibly a gallery space could be in the works. Paramount officials have been aiming to finish the project by 2013.

•Mower County Government Center/Law Enforcement Center: Mower County is moving ahead with a $3.8 million Government Center Remodel to house Health and Human Services, and the county will jointly remodel the Law Enforcement Center with the city. Last week, the county selected Knutson Construction Services as the construction manager, and a panel will soon interview five potential architects. Work could begin by next fall.