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.”
The Google data center houses computer systems and associated components that support more than 80 products such as Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, AdSense and Google Maps. It is one of eight Google data centers, which include two outside the United States.
The new facility will be constructed next to the original data center that was dedicated in September 2011. With just seven months between its launch and Wednesday's expansion announcement, Abelin said future growth in Oklahoma is possible, but difficult to predict.
“If the demand for our products continues to grow, it's certainly possible,” he said.
Mike Wooten, operations manager at the Oklahoma data center, said Wednesday's announcement reflects the company's commitment to the state.
“We have an outstanding workforce in Pryor, and we are so appreciative of the exceptional reception we have received from the local community and the state of Oklahoma,” Wooten said. “We are glad to be in Oklahoma.”
Gov. Mary Fallin, who hosted the announcement ceremony at the state Capitol, said Google's
“We appreciate the confidence you have shown in our state,” Fallin said. “We know you have other choices.”