Rocky Mountain PBS seeks $30M to build a new home

Renderings of a new Rocky Mountain PBS headquarters at 21st and Arapahoe from Tryba Architects

Renderings of a new Rocky Mountain PBS headquarters at 21st and Arapahoe from Tryba Architects

To get more visitors into its offices and studios, Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS) has kicked off a $30 million capital campaign in the hopes of building a shiny new headquarters downtown.

RMPBS, which produces original television shows, already has raised about $9 million from the public campaign, said CEO Doug Price.

The new building could break ground in 2017 on the corner of Arapahoe and 21st.

Right now, the nonprofit invites members to preview programs in the studio and office space it’s had at 1089 Bannock St. in Golden Triangle since 1993. But the small space isn’t ideal for live performances or school field trips, Price said, adding that plans for a new center include a theater and classrooms.

“We have really no performance space,” Price said. “That’s one of the problems with our facility. Television studios used to be to keep people out rather than invite people in.”

RMPBS television programs include the news magazine “Arts District” and a history-themed series called “Colorado Experience.” In 2013, RMPBS merged with investigative news outlet I-News, and news and jazz radio station KUVO. (The new headquarters would consolidate RMPBS operations in one Denver office; right now, KUVO runs out of a separate space downtown.)

The network has five offices around the state and around 100 full-time employees, Price said.

The broadcaster is inviting other nonprofits to share the complex. It’s looking for a local performing arts group to share the theater, Price said, and an education nonprofit to run a computer lab for school groups in districts that can’t afford the hardware or software.

The State Land Board, which owns the site of the proposed headquarters, has approved a transaction for RMPBS to acquire the spot, Price said. A deal could close by the end of June, Price said.

David Tryba, the architect that designed the History Colorado Center, has produced an early rendering.

The network reported $15.6 million in revenue in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, according to its most recent tax filings.

RMPBS has climbed from 40,000 members to 70,000 members in the past five years, Price said, including a 10 percent member boost when it acquired KUVO. That’s welcome news for an organization that gets 70 percent of its revenue from member dues, he added.

RockyMountainPBS rendering

Renderings of a new Rocky Mountain PBS headquarters at 21st and Arapahoe from Tryba Architects

Renderings of…

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