WOSU Public Radio celebrates their groundbreaking at their new headquarters on 14th and Pearl Ave. in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday April 11, 2019. Credit: Lily Maslia | Lantern Reporter

WOSU Public Media held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday, celebrating the start of construction on its new headquarters at the corner of 14th Avenue and Pearl Alley.

WOSU, a nonprofit multimedia organization licensed to Ohio State, is known for its community programming through its public radio and TV stations. According to a press release, the organization’s mission is to “enrich lives through content and experiences that engage, form and inspire.”

The new $29 million building is part of Campus Partners’ 15 + HIGH project and will replace the current WOSU office, located in the basement of the Fawcett Center. It is expected to be completed in early 2021.

“This new headquarters will be transformative for WOSU, but more importantly, it significantly expands our ability to serve this growing community and the Ohio State campus,” Tom Rieland, general manager of WOSU Public Media, said.

Rieland said the creation of this building will accomplish three things: encourage public engagement, allow the community and students to create their own stories and act as a space to discuss issues facing the community and world.

In attendance for the ceremony were several benefactors of the project, as well as Campus Partners, the WOSU team and members of Ohio State’s Board of Trustees.

People who symbolically broke ground included Rieland, supporters, foundational donors and members of the campaign leadership.

Bruce McPheron, executive vice president and university provost, said the proximity of the station to campus will create a connection with students and grow student internships and mentoring. He also says it will help a diverse mix of students, ranging from journalism to engineering.

“It will allow Ohio State to tie to the greater community,” McPheron said.

The five-floor building will feature a 2,200-square foot community studio, expanded newsroom, broadcast and radio studios, a state-of-the-art video production media learning lab. It will host 200 events annually as well.

Rieland said it will be a place where both students and faculty on campus are welcomed and involved in different learning opportunities. In order to have a community impact, WOSU has to be accessible and engaging, Rieland said.

According to a press release, the campaign has raised $9.5 million from individual and corporate donors.

“It’s an incredible legacy for WOSU in service to this community and to campus,” Rieland said.