When Pioneer Public TV announced that it would be moving its Appleton station to Granite Falls back in late 2015, it sent a ripple of excitement through the community. Ever since then, residents have been eagerly following news of the big move. With construction now wrapping-up on the new Ron And Diane Fagan Building, our reporters sat down with Pioneer Communications Director Patrick Moore to learn more about next steps.
“Pioneer is beginning to make a year-long relocation to a new state-of-the-art television campus in Granite Falls,” Moore explained. “ The new studio was constructed on donated land along Highway 23 as a result of a generous gift by Ron and Diane Fagen.”
He added that funds from the Minnesota State Legislature were recently secured to construct microwave relay connections to Pioneer’s transmitter site in Appleton and to outfit the building with new furniture and some of the equipment. “Pioneer has begun laying the groundwork for a capital campaign that will raise funds for the rest of the equipment, new programs, staff development and civic engagement efforts to make the new studio a regional communications hub for western and southwestern Minnesota, the eastern Dakotas and northwestern Iowa,” he added.
In January 2018 first group of administrative staff (approximately 12 people) will move in. Production staff will begin moving in the summer of 2018. “If all goes according to plan master control, programming and engineering staff will be moved by the late fall. Before master control staff can move, Pioneer will have to set up microwave relay connections from the new building to the station's transmitter site in Appleton.” In order to establish connection, Moore says that is necessary to construct relay towers, which he says will be erected during the 2018 construction season.
Moore says that he is looking forward to finally settling into their new offices. “The board and staff at Pioneer are thrilled with this move and we can't wait to see the great local programs and initiatives that will emerge from the Ron and Diane Fagen building.” He added that the new building is “a beautiful place to work in a lovely natural setting with easy access to a highly visible location that will connect us to the good people of Granite Falls and institutional partners across the region!”