St. Jude Adds Research Power With New Data Center
In an effort to support further research and hospital operations, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee is in the process of seeking to build a new, three story, 60,000 square foot data center. This past May, the hospital had acquired a new parcel of land – the first of an apparent series of purchases; on which they’re now planning to break ground. The property is located directly next to their current campus, and currently serves as home to a Memphis Public Works facility. The hospital plans to keep this existing building and use for its own support operations. They also plan to add a mechanical maintenance yard and parking to the plot.
As a medical research hospital, St. Jude is known for its advanced, technologically progressive approach to their work. In addition, St. Jude is also known for allowing its research to be widely available – a move that helps to further medical knowledge and inspire new research worldwide. One example of this is their widely praised Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, which sought to map the entire cancer genome and share its results online so that other global cancer researchers can do their own individual analysis. Not only has this project been instrumental in promoting pediatric cancer research around the world, but it has also already led to significant new discoveries and technologies, including a new computer tool called “CONSERTING,” which is used to identify mutations in tumors – a dramatic improvement from previous tools. Needless to say, the work that St. Jude has been able to accomplish with their current processing abilities has been life changing.
With the construction of this new, large data center, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital hopes to be able to extend their data processing and storage ability to support similar important research. A data center is essentially a dedicated server room where the hospital will be able to house important network operations and information, therefore freeing up other servers for other uses and / or future research. In addition, the new data center will also likely house some hospital support operations that may overflow from the other building.
St Jude Children’s Research Hospital currently hopes to start construction in 2016. Before the data center can actually be built, however; St. Jude will have to obtain a couple of important zoning exceptions. A larger than normal building setback will need to be approved in order to allow St. Jude to keep the currently existing building, fit their new data center and a mechanical maintenance yard onto the plot and offer sufficient parking (currently roughly 18 spaces). Perhaps the most important exception they will be seeking, however, is one to actually allow the building of a third story; currently, local zoning laws are considered “light industrial,” which only allow for two story buildings. The hospital has stated that they believe the zoning exceptions should not cause any concerns for nearby residents or property owners, as the surrounding lots contain only warehouses and other public works buildings. As of late October, St. Jude’s plan and request for exemptions are before the Memphis, Tennessee Board of Adjustment.
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