After delay, CBC building renovations expected to begin in October

Construction is expected to begin in October on a $2-million renovation to the CBC P.E.I. building in Charlottetown.

Jim Ferguson, senior manager at CBC P.E.I., said the work at 430 University Ave. was initially scheduled to be completed last month. 

"The timeline for the project has been delayed in an effort to secure a successful bidder for the scope of work outlined in the request for proposal," he said.

One of the most noticeable changes for guests at CBC will be to the English services radio studio, where Island Morning and Mainstreet P.E.I. are broadcast. It will be moved closer to the main entrance of the building with a view of University Avenue.

"During this phase, there will be minimal impact on staff," Ferguson said. "Guests will certainly see the work during their visit."

John Robertson/CBC

Renovations to the entire newsroom will follow. The French services studio will also be redesigned and remain in the newsroom, but in a new location. 

CBC P.E.I.'s building has not been renovated since 1978. Ferguson said "the time has come to change our physical space to reflect how a modern broadcaster has to operate and put us in closer touch with the communities we serve."

"To do this we need to make better use of new technology and create more integrated, efficient and innovative workplaces that further our multi-platform strategy and help advance our goal ... to enhance services for all Islanders."

Ferguson said the Oct. 21 federal election will have no impact on the renovations. Some work on the exterior of the building has been completed. 

John Robertson/CBC

The funds are coming from several different areas within CBC including English Services, the real estate division, broadcast engineering and French Services.

For the last several years, CBC had explored moving out of the University Avenue location, which is too large for the workforce. 

But after looking at what other suitable real estate was available, CBC decided the best option was to keep the building and renovate it instead.  

Shane Ross/CBC

Once the inside renovations are complete, 4,500 square feet of space on the lower level of the building will be available to lease.  This space will not be required for CBC P.E.I.'s operations, Ferguson said.

Real estate broker CBRE Ltd. is managing the lease space.

John Robertson/CBC

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