The Journey to Now: PBS Hawaii’s NEW HOME Groundbreaking

Leslie Wilcox, President and CEO of PBS Hawaii

There were bright smiles and tears of joy at a highly anticipated moment:  groundbreaking for PBS Hawaii’s NEW HOME.

 

The event took place at the site of the former KFVE Newsplex at a corner of Nimitz Highway and Sand Island Access Road.

 

You might think groundbreaking is the start of this building project.  Not so. We were a long time in reaching this starting point!  But the end is in sight:  PBS Hawaii’s NEW HOME is scheduled for completion in early 2016.

 

This journey to a NEW HOME began with the University of Hawaii at Manoa deciding to re-purpose the building we now lease for its own student instruction. Because it’s no easy task moving a statewide public television station, the UH generously gave us time to relocate.

From left: Former Board Chair Neil Hannahs; current Board Chair Robbie Alm; Leslie Wilcox; HIKI NO graduate Victoria Cuba; Board Facilities Chair Cameron Nekota; Group 70 International Vice Chair Sheryl Seaman; Allied Builders VP and Chief Estimator Justin Izumi

 

Over several years, our Board directed contributions and organizational savings so we could buy a new site outright. The opportunity came during January 2009; it was during the Great Recession. The price for this acre along the Nimitz corridor was $5.2 million.

 

The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation pledged $5 million more. That allowed us to get to work designing a building for the 21st century. Broadcast technology and digital media changed rapidly and sometimes immensely; we had to keep re-imagining.

 

Now, here we are, with a creative and solid plan by Group 70 International and with Allied Builders System revving up equipment to construct a two-story, 30,000-square-foot building. It’ll have open interior space encouraging collaboration; a main television studio; an emergency broadcast center; and a media innovation center.

 

The total price tag is $30 million, including the land cost. With about $23.5 million raised, thanks to the people of Hawaii, we have $6.5 million to go.  We’re seeking help from those who enjoy our programming or projects–and have not yet contributed. Everything counts. We welcome all help to continue serving as Hawaii’s largest classroom, biggest presenter of performing arts, and as a rich video archive of the state’s people, culture, and history.  For more information, call ph. 955.0500 or go to PBSHawaii.org/newhome.