The Oath data center in Lockport, which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon Communications, is planning on adding a third facility to its already 250-member workforce.
Oath has had a data center in the town since 2009. They started a second data complex in 2014. Currently, they plan on spending $28 million to build the third site in about 8 months.
Lockport Economic Development Coordinator Marc Smith said so far they have hired people primary from Western New York.
“They recruit right out of colleges in Rochester and Buffalo. It created some really great paying jobs. The people that work for them get to have the opportunity to travel the world in their various centers,” he said.
Oath, formerly known as Yahoo, was purchased by Verizon last year along with AOL and the Huffington Post. In addition to the expansion, four AOL data centers throughout the country will collapse into the Lockport site.
Smith said many view Western New York weather as a negative, but it actually benefits data centers.
“When you take ambient air and run it past these servers, which create a lot of heat, it gives you an opportunity with the cooling effects of the lake here, even during the summer weather, of having a very efficiently run facility just using convection,” Smith said. “It’s really neat because in the winter they have lures on these buildings and they can just close down the lures and recirculate the heat back to keep the buildings warm.”
Close to 100 construction jobs are expected to be created for the project and work is expected to be completed in around 8 months.
With this investment, Smith believes this proves new owner Verizon sees the benefit of having expanded data center services here in Western New York.
“We’re excited because it will continue to expand their employment base and their investment in infrastructure and buildings and technologies,” he said. “It’s really another great win for New York State.”
$4 million is also being spent on electrical improvements at one of the other buildings. That work has already begun.