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St. Louis Public Radio breaks ground on new facility

St. Louis Public Radio and the University of Missouri-St. Louis broke ground on a new midtown facility at Grand Center today.

The new St. Louis Public Radio is being built on a parking lot currently being used by the Fox Theater.

The three-story building will feature more studios, more space for additional staff and will provide the opportunity for live broadcasts from the Fox, the Sheldon Concert Hall and Powell Symphony Hall.

It will also include new classroom space for the University, which Chancellor Tom George said will greatly increase UMSL's profile in the city.

"With this visible presence here, I think everyone else is going to now recognize that indeed UMSL is a player, not just in North County, but throughout the whole region and in this particular case, the city," George said.

Heather Woofter is a partner at Axi: Ome, the company that designed the structure.

She said one of the guiding design principals was to create an inviting structure which is open to the public.

"The building is meant to be open and transparent," Woofter said. "Grand Center was typically 'closed' if you will.  One of the directives was that the media component be open to the community and the environment," she said.

UMSL says approximately two-thirds of the $12 million cost for the building has already been raised, though fundraisers say a $2 million gift will come with naming rights to the building.

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