The MSR Architecture Firm of Minneapolis designed the complex and Fagen Inc. is constructing the state of the art facility. The campus will feature a sound-controlled studio, a master control room, a green room, editing suites, offices and outdoor performance spaces. The off-white stone and dark gray brick facade was designed to blend in with the surrounding prairie landscape and complement the adjacent Blue Devil Valley Scientific and Natural Area and 3.8 billion-year-old exposed granite outcrops in Granite Falls.
As of this writing in mid-November 2016, the roof installation is completed, the building has been largely enclosed (except for the windows and doors), and the exterior brick work is about to begin. The parking lot has been paved, the landscaping plan has been designed and the pouring of concrete is complete.
Plans call for the erection of two towers in 2017 that will relay the signal from the new television campus back to the main broadcast tower site located just south of Appleton. Funding to pay for the installation of these relay towers and much of the necessary new equipment has been delayed, however, by the failure of the 2016 Minnesota State Legislature to pass a bonding bill. Funding for the towers and other key equipment and furnishings to make the new facility fully operational is dependent on a request that has bipartisan support at the state legislature. It is not yet clear if this funding will be made available early in the 2017 legislative session or if Pioneer will have to wait until May of 2017 when the session adjourns to learn of the bonding request’s fate.
“We are in the middle of a three-stage process to make this exciting and historic transition,” explained Pioneer’s President and General manager Les Heen. “The first stage involves the Fagen’s commitment to gift the land and construction of the campus. The second stage is tied up with legislative funding, which we need to install the towers and purchase key equipment and furnishings. The third stage will provide for expanded local programming and outreach funds we need to make the most of the facility,” Heen said. “We are in the early stages of raising those funds now from our members, foundations, and regional benefactors and look forward to sharing opportunities for the community to support the project in the future,” he added.
“Thanks to the Fagens, we are well on our way to designing the Pioneer of tomorrow,“ said Pat Kubly, the Chair of Pioneer’s Board of Directors. “We look forward to producing more great local programs and improving our service to the region with this new facility.”
About Pioneer Public Television
Pioneer Public TV is an award-winning, viewer-supported television station serving western and southwestern Minnesota, the eastern Dakotas and northwestern Iowa. For more information, visitwww.pioneer.org or call 1-800-726-3178.