The expansion project at the station's Western Boulevard studio in West Raleigh is part one of a multi-phase project that will include an auditorium for station and community events and remodeled office space for other WRAL-TV departments.
The construction project will add 35,000 feet onto the south side of the existing studios, said Tom Allen, WRAL's vice president and general manager. The building should be finished by Jan. 1, 2000. The next phase calls for renovation of 45,000 square feet in the original building, which was started in 1955.
In the third phase, an auditorium will be reconstructed in an area that was converted many years ago from an auditorium into the current newsroom. The fourth phase calls for renovation of the 10,000-square-foot administration building.
The WRAL Gardens will be closed for at least 12 to 18 months, and the station will not be able to offer tours during the construction.
R.T. Dooley of Charlotte is the general contractor for the project, and Envirotek of Raleigh is the architect. Devlin Design Group of San Diego will design the news set, and Rees Associates of Oklahoma City will be the interior design contractor.
Before construction could begin, the station had to dismantle its old 300-foot broadcast relay tower and build anew tower150 feet northwest of the old location.