PROVO — Concluding one four-year effort as it begins another two-year endeavor, Brigham Young University broke ground Thursday afternoon for its new BYU Broadcasting Building.
The three-level, 100,000-square-foot building will be cascading down the hill located between the Monte L. Bean Museum's north parking lot and the parking area between the Marriott Center and the BYU Conference Center.
Elder M. Russell Ballard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Quorum of the Twelve asked the invitation-only crowd at the building site to think not of past planning, nor the soon-to-be-present construction, but rather the potential impact of the future.
"I don't think any of us really realize what we're starting here today," said Elder Ballard, who joined with BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson and other church, university and BYU Broadcasting officials in ceremonial shovel-turnings of a small patch of dirt unearthed in the asphalt parking lot north of the museum.
Elder Ballard spoke of using the BYU Broadcasting media from what will be a centralized on-campus location, reaching homes throughout the world to "draw those who are seeking to know the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ" and eventually celebrate "the changing of the spirit and attitude of the world because we have that great capacity."
Initial plans call for a first floor with TV production studios, audio and video editing space and master control area; a second floor with radio studios, a Web/new media department and space for producers and programming staff; and a third floor with executive offices, human resources, accounting and marketing.
The building will house all BYU Broadcasting units: BYU Television, BYU Television International, KBYU Television, BYU Radio and KBYU-FM Classical 89.
Those units are now in scattered locations, on campus in the Harris Fine Arts Center and off campus at the BYU Motion Picture Studios and the university's Ironton broadcasting facilities in southeast Provo.
Noting the university had applied for an FCC broadcasting license 50 years ago this month, Samuelson saluted "the beginnings of a storied history" for BYU Broadcasting and added "our prospects are so much brighter than we ever imagined."
BYU Broadcasting also provides educational resources to the three BYU campuses — including BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii — and to audiences beyond.
Designed by VCBO Architecture with Okland Construction the contractor, the BYU Broadcasting Building is expected to be finished within 18 to 24 months.