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UVMtv finds a home in Ira Allen Chapel

September 9, 2013
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UVMtv Station Manager Jack Steele and Communications Director Hailey Grohman on Sunday tell members about the organization’s new digs.

UVMtv President Jack Steele announced Sunday that his station, which in May lost its lease in the Davis Center, will be moving into a suite of offices below historic Ira Allen Chapel.

The office suite—a studio plus three offices—is the one-time home of campus newspaper The Vermont Cynic, which in 2007 moved to its current offices in the Davis Center.

Steele, who toured the office suite last week and received confirmation this weekend that UVMtv would soon move in, said simply: “This is incredible.”

Locking down a studio space had been a priority for Steele, who was elected about the same time that Davis Center officials asked UVMtv to move out. At the time, the TV station was renting a pay-to-stay office space costing more than $12,000 a semester—an amount that UVMtv never came close to paying.

Unlike fellow student media organizations WRUV-FM and The Vermont Cynic, UVMtv had not been given a Davis Center workspace, mostly because the TV station didn’t quite exist when Davis Center plans were made more than a decade ago.

In 2008, a year after the Davis Center opened, UVMtv student leaders proposed moving into a storefront area that DC officials had been unable to rent, and in 2009 they moved in.

However, because the studio’s retail space was originally intended to generate income for UVM—and the Davis Center budget depended on the rental income—UVMtv’s students pledged to do enough fundraising to eventually pay their way. After four years, however, both DC and UVMtv officials concluded that the 25-person club simply would never be able to raise $25,000 a year.

During the 2012-13 academic year, a student health outreach office called Living Well, which the year before had moved into the storefront next to UVMtv, expressed interest in expanding. After a competitive bidding process, DC officials offered the space to Living Well, which could afford to pay its way.

UVMtv Station Manager Jack Steele tours (and films!) the organization's new studio space.

UVMtv Station Manager Jack Steele tours (and films!) the organization’s new studio space.

Throughout the summer, Steele and UVMtv Technical Director Mike Cohen teamed up with UVM officials to locate a workable space. The former Cynic offices—located just beneath Ira Allen Chapel and accessible from iconic Billings Hall—had been used for years as a temporary work area for various UVM departments.

In recent weeks, UVM Vice Provost Annie Stevens zeroed in on the offices as a fitting home for UVMtv.

The station’s leaders couldn’t agree more.

“UVMtv is thrilled for the start of a new school year,” said Hailey Grohman, UVMtv’s communications director, “made even more exciting by a new space in the basement of Billings with tons of potential for growth and fun!”

UVMtv’s leaders are working with UVM officials to set a move-in date, when they’ll be able to move their studio equipment out of storage and truly begin the new academic year.

Though the move-in date has yet to be set, both sides know when they expect it to be: Soon.

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