Data Center: Google to resume work on data center in NE Okla.

PRYOR — — Google Inc. is restarting work on a data center in Pryor — nearly two years after delaying the opening of the $600 million project.

Chris Russell, Google operations manager, said Thursday that the company plans to immediately start the process to hire 80 employees and that the facility is expected to be fully operational by late next year with about 100 workers.

Russell said the company will look for workers with experience in information technology management, Linux, hardware or those with electrical and mechanical backgrounds.

The center, called a “server farm,” will include massive clusters of computers that power Google’s online services, including Internet searches, e-mail and Google Maps.

“This facility will handle all of the services Google offers,” company spokeswoman Emily Wood told the Tulsa World.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google started the project in 2007 but later determined it did not need the server capacity as quickly as had been thought and the project was placed on hold in November 2008.

Some equipment was installed in an initial building, and about 20 staff members were hired to maintain the facility.

“We’d like to thank the people of Mayes County for their patience and we look forward to becoming an even bigger part of your community going forward,” said Paul Froutan, director of hardware operations for Google.

“We will keep you informed as we bring this data center online.”

The data center has been highly anticipated and is some welcome news for Pryor, which has taken some economic hits lately.

In February PepsiCo decided to close its two-year-old Gatorade plant, which also was in the Mid-America Industrial Park.

The company terminated 108 people at the 1.4 million-square-foot facility.


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