Rising global demand for high-tech equipment that enables scientists to study fish is prompting the local expansion of Smith-Root, Inc., a manufacturer of electro-fishing devices.The Vancouver-based company, celebrating its 50th year in business, held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday to highlight construction of its new, 30,000-square-foot complex at 16605 N.E. 50th Ave. in Salmon Creek.The new site, which will be built in two phases and fully completed in May or June 2015, will give the company an additional 10,000 square feet of space. It will include a new biological research lab, more space for fabrication machinery and room for future growth.The building is going up as Smith-Root has bulked up its staff. Eighteen months ago, the company employed about 40 people. After adding 17 scientists, engineers and support staff, the company now hums with a total of 57 employees. Smith-Root generates about $10 million to $12 million in annual revenue. The company’s global reach includes branch offices in Europe and Australia.“We anticipate hiring additional employees in the next several months as space becomes available,” Katherine Harper, the company’s operations director, said in an email to The Columbian.