FORT WORTH -- Not far from where cattle still roam, Facebook officially opened a new data center that is said to be one of the most advanced in the world.
The billion-dollar project has been in the works for years and today, Mayor Betsy Price was on hand with city officials and Facebook representatives to mark its grand opening. Together, they pressed a giant 'Like' button to commemorate the day the data center came online.
"Fort Worth is officially known as where the west begins, and now we are where the tech begins," said Price.
The 450,000-square foot building is one of five buildings that Facebook plans to put into operation in Fort Worth on a 150-acre campus, which would make it the company's largest data center in the world.
Inside, miles of racks of servers already hum, powering Facebook's infrastructure and storing users likes, photos and live videos. The facility also includes advanced air condition to keep those servers at the correct operating temperature.
Facebook says building the project requires an average of 750 construction workers everyday, and the new data center also has permanent employees.
"Today, about a hundred and fifty people that support steady-state operations," said KC Timmons, Facebook's site manager for the Fort Worth Data Center.
Those permanent employees include technicians, security and culinary workers, who staff the building's kitchen, providing employees Silicon Valley-style perks like free food.
The campus's offices look as if they were dropped in from the company's Menlo Park, California headquarters, although artwork has distinctly Texan vibe.
"We're happy to serve Fort Worth, and we don't just work here, we live here," said Timmons.
City leaders hope Facebook's arrival is a reason for more tech companies to "like" Fort Worth, too.
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