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Editorial: Nice to see the cities of Opelika and Auburn each drop some big numbers on Monday

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Hanwha’s current facility sits in the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park and currently manufacturers automotive parts for the Hyundai assembly plant in Montgomery and the Kia plant in West Point, Ga. The Opelika City Council will discuss going into a project agreement with the company for the creation of an another facility at its meeting Tuesday.

The cities of Opelika and Auburn each floated out big numbers on Monday.

In Auburn, it was $120 million.

That was the cost of the new 40,000-square-foot data center being constructed on Samford Avenue by AUBix LLC and designed to provide communities across the state with enhanced access to high-speed internet.

Andrew Albrecht, an Auburn University alumnus and the company’s co-founder, likened the data center to a railroad station.

“A minimum of seven fiber optic networks run through Auburn, and none of them have a place to stop and meet, like a railroad station,” he said. ... “We’re like a railroad, but we’re digital. We’re digital infrastructure.”

In Opelika, it was $130 million.

That was the cost of a new manufacturing facility in the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park for Hanwha Cimarron. CEO David Jeon said the South Korean company’s facility will help continue its growth in the Carbon Overwrap Pressure Vessel industry.

That’s not a term many folks around here understand, but here’s something we can all get on board with: the creation of over 260 jobs in Opelika.

According to Jeon, these workers will be “catering to the needs of aerospace, drone, defense, marine, rail, on-vehicle, gas transport and ground storage solutions.”

So while our community tracks COVID-19 hospitalizations, prepares to start the school year with masks in classrooms, and looks to fall football season with uncertainty, we’re happy to hear about these two new projects and be reminded that our future is bright.

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