Washington municipal officials—including Mayor Vincent Gray (D)—held a ground breaking ceremony today to mark the beginning of the renovation of a building that is to become the permanent headquarters for the District of Columbia’s Office of Cable Television.
“OCT plays a vital role in creating a more transparent government and highlighting the many outstanding accomplishments of our residents and community,” Gray said. “We are proud to find a permanent home for the agency that will allow for growth, expansion of services and reduced leasing expenses.”
The renovation is expected to be complete by October, at which time the building—which was acquired from Black Entertainment Television—will house Washington’s public, educational and governmental television stations, TV-13, the District of Columbia Network and the District Knowledge Network. “It seemed logical to bring them all together,” Gray said.
In addition to centralizing Washington’s three PEG channels, the education channel and the government channel have recently been re-branded, and the new “building is the ideal fit” for those re-branded channels, said Eric Richardson, the director of OCT. Since its inception in 1986, OCT has been housed in several locations, and moving to this building will be the agency’s fifth relocation, said Richardson, who added that having a permanent facility made him want to quote the title of the song “At Last” by Etta James.
Washington’s municipal government purchased the 30,525-square-foot facility, located at 1899 9th St. N.E., in 2010. The facility will feature two television production studios, editing suites, meeting space and administrative offices.
The renovation includes replacing the roof, renovation of exterior and interior structures, build-out of the production studios and installation of the television broadcast equipment.
“My focus now is to be on time [with the project] and on budget,” Richardson said.