Building steam

Published 10:17 am Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Hormel Institute’s math is adding up to a large economic impact for Austin. With a $23 million donation by The Hormel Foundation and a tentative start date for construction, the Institute is building up steam for its upcoming expansion, and we salute its efforts to bring in more leading scientists, 20 new laboratories to research cancer and more than 100 new jobs to this community.

Many were excited to hear about the new expansion when Institute officials first announced its plans. Gov. Mark Dayton highlighted the expansion when pushing legislators to approve a bonding bill last year, which ultimately resulted in $13.5 million from the state for the expansion. Now that the Foundation announced its intentions this week to surpass that grant, The Institute is positioned to continue living up to its legacy as a leading research center.

The Institute’s plans will affect the community in a positive way, as the expansion will increase Austin’s reputation and could bring in much regional, national and global attention.

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Residents can do their part to support The Institute by participating in the upcoming Walk for a Cancer Free World starting at 4 p.m. this Friday. It costs $10 per person to participate, and all donations go toward The Institute’s research. Austinites can also give to the expansion efforts when The Institute and Foundation organize a community fundraising campaign this fall in hopes of garnering $3 million in support.

Though The Institute expansion may proceed a little slower than officials had originally thought — the expansion was supposed to break ground this year — the Foundation’s $23 million grant is a sure sign of positive things to come.