Facebook is expanding its footprint in New Albany, but its data-center operation still is expected to come online by the end of the year, according to Facebook spokeswoman Melanie Roe.

The company on April 2 announced plans to build a third facility at its New Albany data-center complex, and Roe said the new building is anticipated to bring in more jobs at the data center -- and hundreds of construction jobs.

Roe said more than 50 people already are employed at the Facebook complex, and when operational, a three-building campus usually supports more than 100 jobs.

As for construction, "we anticipate we will maintain an average of 600 construction workers on site daily, with over 1000 at peak," she said.

Facebook announced in August 2017 that it would build the data-center complex in New Albany.

The complex previously was expected to be divided into two massive, connected buildings totaling 970,000 square feet on 345 acres in the Licking County portion of New Albany, along Beech Road and south of state Route 161 in New Albany's International Business Park.

The first phase is slated for completion this year, and the second phase is expected to be finished in 2020, according to previous Facebook announcements.

Now Facebook will expand the campus by more than 500,000 square feet, bringing the three-building complex to nearly 1.5 million square feet, according to the company's April 2 announcement.

Roe said the investment in the entire site is estimated to exceed $750 million upon completion, and work would continue for at least three more years.

Business needs determined Facebook's decision to add a third building to the complex, Roe said.

"With the growing number of photos and videos being shared on our platforms, as well as live video, 360 photos and videos, and virtual reality becoming more popular, we need additional data-center capacity," she said.

Facebook's investment is good for New Albany and the entire region, said Jennifer Chrysler, New Albany's community-development director.

Income-tax revenue from construction alone would exceed $1 million for New Albany, she said, and the project would add millions more in revenue for the region.

"Plus, Facebook is a concrete example of our region being a sound investment," she said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah