UMSL at Grand Center will open its doors to public Sept. 15
Stand on the patio of the new University of Missouri–St. Louis at Grand Center building, home to St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU, and see if you can identify its neighbors. There’s the Fabulous Fox, Sheldon Concert Hall, Grandel Theater, Powell Hall, Contemporary Art Museum and Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Next door is Nine Network of Public Media, HEC-TV and the St. Louis Beacon.
The public will have an opportunity to get the same view from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 15 at a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for the new $12 million facility located at 3651 Olive Street. Renee Montagne, West Coast host of NPR’s popular “Morning Edition,” will greet visitors to the new space. Music, a live radio broadcast, cake and some of St. Louis’ finest food trucks will be on hand for the festivities.
“Classes have started, St. Louis Public Radio is on the air, and we are thrilled to have the St. Louis community see the exciting things the University of Missouri–St. Louis is doing in Grand Center,” Chancellor Tom George said. “We are certainly looking forward to increasing further our working relationships with our many other arts, education and media partners, such as the Nine Network of Public Media, St. Louis Symphony, Jazz at the Bistro, Contemporary Art Museum, the Sheldon and the Kranzberg Arts Center.”
The building’s eye-popping design filled with the newest technology and its proximity to so many of St. Louis’ art and media treasures should wow visitors.
On display will be the newly-equipped, high-tech studios and offices of St. Louis Public Radio with its monochromatic white walls and furnishings. UMSL’s classrooms with the latest computers, projectors, editing rooms and offices focus on the study of new and digital media. The ground floor contains the Monsanto Community Education Center.
The radio station went on air in its new quarters June 18. Administrative, underwriting, membership and development staff packed up their offices on the UMSL campus and moved into their new home in the weeks that followed.
“UMSL at Grand Center is a special place, not only for our staff and the students who attend class here, but for the entire St. Louis Community,” said Tim Eby, general manager of St. Louis Public Radio. “This spacious new, state-of the-art building allows us to engage people in new ways such as holding live broadcasts and musical performances, hosting public forums and town hall meetings, and providing increased educational opportunities through a variety of college internships – not to mention closely connecting us with many of our corporate sponsors and community partners.”
Once the grand opening festivities end, demolition will begin on the parking lot and wall between the new building and Nine Network.
According to Eby, plans call for construction of the Public Media Commons where the community can meet and experience public media through interactive experiences and digital displays. One wall of Nine Network and a back wall of the Sheldon will be reskinned to accommodate images projected from the roof of the new UMSL at Grand Center building.
The Public Media Commons is being developed by the University of Missouri–St. Louis, St. Louis Public Radio, Nine Network of Public Media and Grand Center.
The new three-story, 27,000 square foot building was designed by St. Louis architects Heather Woofter and Sung Ho Kim of Axi:Ome. B.C. Development Co. from Kansas City, Mo. was the developer; S.M. Wilson was general contractor. Chiodini Associates was the architect of record.
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