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When it came time to find a new home to accommodate WCNY’s growing needs, the community-owned public television and radio station decided to use the opportunity to contribute to the rejuvenation of the Near Westside. The organization renovated the historic Case Supply Warehouse to house its offices and production facilities. The building is designed to be a community space with programs to engage, educate and entertain while adding vibrancy to the area.

The renovation of the recently opened 56,000 square foot multi-story center was supported by a grant from the Community Foundation. The new space is more than just a home for WCNY. The expected LEED Platinum facility is an interactive, state-of-the-art community engagement center. Open, bright and full of the latest technology, the building is well-suited to encourage collaboration through the use of its community meeting spaces. Its new Joint Master Control Hub also promotes collaboration by combining the production of nine PBS stations from throughout New York and New Jersey.

WCNY incorporated many innovative features to welcome the community. An outdoor cafe and large screen on the outside of the building will allow neighborhood visits for free movies, competitions and educational programming. An electronic Onondaga County Library kiosk encourages reading. Live radio programming is produced in studios with windows that face the street, and passers-by will hear the station through outdoor speakers. In addition, self-guided tours are available to community members who want to visit and see the inner workings of the station’s production first-hand.

“When we came here, we promised the community that we would be the best neighbor they ever had,” said WCNY President Bob Daino. “We want our neighbors to learn from WCNY, but we also want to learn from them.”

Providing learning opportunities is a priority to WCNY’s mission. The third floor of its new facility houses Enterprise America, an experiential learning center featuring a small interactive city, complete with a City Hall and 14 small businesses. This mock city teaches students skills in entrepreneurship and the increasingly important science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum. It is expected that 30,000 students from a 2-hour radius of the facility will use this unique educational tool.

In part seeded by a Community Foundation grant, WCNY was formed in 1965 as an accessible medium dedicated to providing inclusive education and community programming. WCNY’s new headquarters is a community asset that offers something for everyone, once again reflecting its long-standing commitment to the region.

“Moving two and a half miles to the Near Westside has created the ability for people to see us in a different light,” said Daino. “This has created opportunities, collaborations and partnership discussions that we never had before.”