Google goes large in expansion plan; new building in Pryor will double existing capacity
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Thursday, April 05, 2012
4/05/12 at 7:42 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - After Google Inc. opened a large data center last year near Pryor, officials said the company was looking into adding a much smaller auxiliary building.
But Google's plans have changed in a big way. Mike Wooten, Google Data Center operations manager, said Wednesday during a press conference at the state Capitol that the company is greatly expanding its operations and adding about 50 jobs.
"We're going to construct a new building that will house twice as much server capacity," Wooten said.
The new building slated for Google's 800-acre campus at the Mid-America Industrial Park will be roughly the same size as the 130,000-square-foot data center that opened six months ago, and it will enable Google to expand its current 100-employee Pryor work force.
Construction will begin next month, and the facility will be ready sometime next year.
The building also expands the total cost of the campus from $600 million to $700 million, representing one of the biggest commercial build-outs in the state's history, said Dave Lopez, Oklahoma secretary of commerce and tourism.
"We did some research, and this is the largest company investments in terms of capital outside of the energy sector," he said.
Only the Devon Energy tower in Oklahoma City and the Novus Wind Farm in Guymon are bigger.
Gov. Mary Fallin said the state is honored by having a corporation doing so much to change and expand global communication located and expanding in the state.
"To have your brand in Oklahoma is something that's greatly appreciated by us," she said.
Like the existing data center, the new data center will support all of Google's services, including Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps, Google+ and mobile services for Android smartphones. Users who connect to Google services in the region will most likely be routed through the Pryor center.
Wooten said the decision to expand the second facility was made just last month.
"We're looking forward to meeting future demands," he said.
The new building likely won't be filled to capacity when it opens but will have room to add additional servers as needed, Wooten said.
Additionally, it will have a variety of new amenities for employees, including a café with indoor and outdoor seating areas, a full gym and shower facilities, office space, meeting areas and a game room.
"Only the essential functions," Wooten said.
Like the existing facility, the common areas of the new building will be decked out in a cowboy theme in honor of Oklahoma, Wooten said. The Pryor data farm is well known throughout the company for its mechanical bull.
Lopez said the Pryor facility is Google's eighth data center.
Wooten said the company will continue to support community grants programs in Mayes County, including education, technology literacy and innovation, renewable energy innovation, access to high-speed Internet and new economy entrepreneurship.
Original Print Headline: Google goes large in expansion plan
Robert Evatt 918-581-8447
Mike Wooten, data center operations manager for Google in Pryor, stands next to a large Google sign as he announces plans for Google to double its server capacity in Oklahoma and add 50 new jobs when it builds a new facility in the state, during a news conference in Oklahoma City on Wednesday. SUE OGROCKI/Associated Press