Valley Public Radio’s director of program content recalled the days when the station was housed in a building on P Street, where there was “the bar upstairs dripping the night before’s residue on your desk.”
Joe Moore reminisced about the station’s home for 30 years in northwest Fresno, with its servers overheating in janitors’ closets and the “acoustic material on the walls falling down.”
Attendees at the Sept. 21 ribbon cutting ceremony at VPR’s new 10,000 square foot broadcast center chuckled at the thought, and then marveled at the beautiful new building in Clovis Technology Park on Temperance and Alluvial avenues.
Ground was broken in May 2015, and officials thanked Zumwalt Construction, Inc. on completing the project on time and under budget.
The generosity of donors made possible the purchase of the land and the building of a customized broadcast center, which meets Title 24 regulations for energy efficiency, is the first of its kind in Clovis and features the most up-to-date broadcast equipment.
“Today, Clovis is on the map as the home of Valley Public Radio. Public radio serves the entire Valley. It’s a real treasure, not only for Clovis, but for the entire Valley,” said Bernard Barmann, vice chairperson of White Ash Broadcasting’s board of directors. “It’s about time that Valley Public Radio had a permanent and proper home.”
Clovis Mayor Nathan Magsig called the technology park “the hub of growth,” with a new educational institution in the works just yards away.
“There are synergies happening in and around the research and technology park,” he said. “This is going to become one of the most valuable pieces of real estate probably in the metropolitan area.”
Darius Assemi, president of Granville Homes and dedicated listener of Valley Public Radio, congratulated Valley Public Radio president and general manager Mariam Stepanian on the completion of her latest mission.
“It won’t be her last mission. Ultimately, she’s going to conquer the world,” he said. “She’s going to make sure that KVPR and NPR do their job to educate the community, ask the right questions, seek the right answers and inform us about important issues.”
Moore noted that it was Stepanian’s vision and her tireless support of it that brought VPR’s new home to reality.
Stepanian was the last to address the crowd of local dignitaries, donors and members of the community who gathered to tour the new broadcast center.
“To be in this building today is such an honor and a celebration. It’s just beautiful,” she said. “It’s not just the building, but what is going to come out of this building and the impact that it’s going to have on the San Joaquin Valley.”
The station reaches listeners throughout Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern counties, as well as portions of Mariposa, Tuolumne, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus counties.
“This public media space is not only a place for Valley Public Radio to grow, but a place for the community to experience musical performances, hear up-to-date local news reports, and listen to national and world NPR coverage,” Stepanian said in a news release. “Our intention is to serve as a gathering place for the community, to inspire journalism students and engage the residents of our region.”
Valley Public Radio is heard on FM89.3 KVPR Fresno, FM89.1 KPRX Bakersfield, and online at www.kvpr.org. It’s new broadcast center is at 2589 Alluvial Ave., Clovis.