Google growing in Oklahoma

Google data center: Expansion to bring company's total investment in Oklahoma data center to more than $700 million.
BY DON MECOY dmecoy@opubco.com Modified: April 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm •  Published: April 4, 2012

Google's construction and pending expansion of its Mayes County data center represent one of the biggest corporate investments in Oklahoma history, state Commerce Secretary Dave Lopez said Wednesday.

Google said Wednesday it will spend more than $100 million to double the production capacity of the data center in MidAmerica Industrial Park near Pryor. That comes after the company invested $600 million to build the data center, which opened last year.

The more than the $700 million Google will have spent in Oklahoma when it completes the planned expansion is exceeded only by the Devon Energy Center in downtown Oklahoma City and the Novus Windpower wind farm, Lopez said.

Lopez admitted that in preparing for Wednesday's Google announcement he wasn't sure precisely where Novus Windpower was located.

“So I Googled it,” he said. Novus is in Guymon.

Alex Abelin, Google community affairs manager, said the expansion of the Oklahoma data center will begin within a few weeks and will include a gym, a larger cafe that will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner to its round-the-clock staff, office space and meeting areas. More than 100 people work at the center, and the expansion could add up to 50 more jobs, Abelin said.

The company's quirky culture will be reflected in the Oklahoma data center.

“The Googleplex culture we bring everywhere we go — colors, food, games, activities, fun,” Abelin said. “This is the only place we have that has a mechanical bull.”