Google announces expansion at Okla. data center

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By KATIE FRETLAND, Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Google plans to double its server capacity in Oklahoma and add 50 new jobs when it builds a new facility in the state, company officials announced Wednesday.

The new facility will be built next to the $600 million data center Google opened near Pryor last fall, said data center operations manager Mike Wooten. Google will hire employees to work on deployment of servers and equipment maintenance, and is looking primarily for local residents to fill the positions, he said.

The announcement comes the same day Yahoo announced plans to lay off 2,000 workers, or about 14 percent of that company's employees.

Google's Oklahoma data center employs more than 100 workers and contains systems that support Gmail, Google Maps, Google Search and Google Plus — as well as a mechanical bull. Wooten said the new facility will house servers and have a cafe, gym, game room and office space. It will bring Google's investment in Oklahoma to $700 million, he said.

"In addition to expanding our operational footprint, our new facilities will enable us to offer services to our employees that will improve their day-to-day work experience and contribute to their health and well-being," Wooten said in a statement.

Gov. Mary Fallin thanked Google for its investment and said the state is committed to having an attractive business environment for the company. She also complimented a Google grand opening she attended.

"It was one heck of a party," she said.

Legislative leaders and Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce Dave Lopez also supported the announcement at the state Capitol on Wednesday.

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