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Public Broadcasting and Welcome Center

pbs.jpgOpened: 1980
Cost: $1.7 Million

Public Broadcasting at Central Michigan University began its first broadcasts in 1973. However, as it grew during the 1970s, the already crowded spaces to which it was confined in Anspach Hall became increasingly inadequate for the needs of those involved with its operations. As a result, CMU Board of Trustees approved the purchase of a building on the corner of Broomfield and Mission for $450,000 in 1980. The building and ensuing renovation was paid for entirely through grants and loans. CMU Board of Trustees loaned Public Broadcasting $750,000 initially, but Public Broadcasting had already raised $300,000 of the amount needed to cover the renovations.

The building into which Public Broadcasting would eventually move was a local bar before it was purchased by CMU. Alibi's Bar, built in the early 1970s and known around campus for its popular Oldies Nights, was scheduled to be completely remodeled and then occupied by Public Broadcasting. General contractor Greenwald and Son Construction of Mt. Pleasant was hired to alter the exterior and completely gut the interior to make both more suitable to a public broadcasting building. In the end, the total cost of the project was $1.7 million, which included not only the purchase of and improvements to the building itself but also landscaping, furniture, and TV and radio equipment.

In May 2000, President Plachta announced plans for the renovation of the Public Broadcasting building's lobby to include a CMU Welcome Center. $20,000 was allocated from the president's new initiatives fund to complete this project, which would also include signage clearly visible from Broomfield and Mission Roads. Although the office in the lobby of this building was designed to be temporary, the Welcome Center continues to help keep visitors informed about events on campus, provide maps, or even give away cups of coffee from this location.