January 21. 2013 9:50PM

Fast-growing high-tech firm doubles its Manchester Millyard space

New Hampshire Union Leader

An architect's rendering shows the staircase that will connect conference rooms on the first and second floor of Dyn's expanded office space in the Manchester Millyard on Dow Street. (COURTESY)

MANCHESTER - A rapidly growing tech company is doubling down on space in the Manchester Millyard.

Dyn, which started out as Dynamic Network Services 13 years ago, this week launches a building project that will increase the space it occupies at 150 Dow St. from 30,000 to 60,000 square feet, in a project costing about $1 million, according to Paul Mailhot, vice president of business operations.

The company intends to refurbish the first floor of the building it currently occupies, creating a two-level, integrated work environment on the first and second floors.

"One of our key priorities is to really connect the spaces vertically," Mailhot said. "We really don't want employees to feel we have two separate floors. We want the spaces to feel like one space that happens to have two levels."

The expansion, scheduled for completion before the summer, is designed to accommodate Dyn's explosive growth. In the past year, the company has seen an infusion of venture capital, has made several high-level hires and created a new board of directors. Employment is expected to grow to 300 in Manchester by the end of 2013, Mailhot said.

"We're in tight quarters right now," he said, "with 200 people in a space built for 160 to 170."

The company is in tough competition for high-level technical talent, and has received a lot of press for the amenities in its Manchester world headquarters, which include arcade games, a rock climbing wall, a deck overlooking the Merrimack River and a private restaurant.

Employees and their guests can eat breakfast or lunch at the Dyn Cafe, across the street from the main offices, where an executive chef and two staff members on the Dyn payroll prepare a menu built around organic, New Hampshire-grown food whenever possible, at the first certified farm-to-table private dining facility in the state.

The new space will provide room for more workers and more amenities. Most of the renovation will take place on the interior, but a small cinderblock room that protrudes from the side of the building will be knocked down to create room for a solarium that will lead to new cafeteria space. Work on the exterior will also include repairs to windows and masonry, and replacing some windows with doors.

When the work is done, employees will be able to enter from Dow or Commercial streets, but the main lobby and customer entrance will remain in its current Dow Street location.

One end of the new area will feature a conference center with seating for 300, a small stage and state-of-the-art audio-video capabilities. At the other end will be a training room and theater with seating for 50, designed for internal training, product launches, community events and the occasional movie night for employees.

The two floors will be connected by more than an elevator. The rock climbing wall will be expanded from one to two stories, Mailhot said, and a playground-style slide will enable employees to "move quickly from the second to first floor." A wide stairway will connect a conference room on the second floor with a conference room on the first floor.

"We're also going to add another deck off the space on the first floor, so we have another outdoor area, and will be putting in a small gym for employees who want to do a little workout before work or after lunch," Mailhot said.

Scattered between the conference center and theater will be space for 160 to 180 workstations, depending on the design. "We really want to break that space up with some more informal spaces," he said. "Think cafe style; think Starbucks or Panera cafe tables, where we'll have power outlets for our employees and allow them to step away from their workspace or cubicle into a little more public area."

Dyn, which offers a variety of Web technology services, has consistently been ranked as one of the country's fastest-growing tech companies by Inc. magazine.

Its clients include Twitter, CNBC, Netflix, Photobucket, Gawker, Pandora, and Zappos.