Shawn Wittrock, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Friday was our last day to broadcast from the studio at 302 South Frankfort.
The old International-Harvester-building-turned-TV-station has been our home for more than six decades.
This week, we've been looking back at the past, to fond memories here.
Now, we're building new memories in a new home.
"We wanted to be part of something bigger than just ourselves," said Griffin Communications owner David Griffin.
The Griffin Communications Media Center started as a big dream by a bold leader. David Griffin wanted to build a state of the art facility in the heart of downtown, Tulsa's historic Brady Arts District.
And when it came time to make the big announcement, he called on the station's longest-serving employee to do the honor.
"Ok, you guys ready? We've waited a long time," said Linda Mason.
Griffin laid out his vision to smiles and applause.
"Excited for our employees to move into a brand new state of the art television studio. It's going to be incredible for our employees, incredible for Tulsa, and incredible for Brady," Griffin said.
Work started the very next day, as heavy equipment rolled in, to begin the process of turning a vacant lot at Boston and Cameron into our new home.
It didn't take long to see the first signs of progress; first, a wall, then steel beams giving shape to things to come.
As one team worked on the building itself, a second crew went to work on a new broadcast tower, reaching 305 feet into the downtown skyline.
Back at the old building, we got busy on another project: packing.
We had to sort through thousands of tapes, deciding which ones to keep and which ones we'd donate to Oklahoma's historical society.
All the while, construction continued on the new building.
Spring gave way to something "green," as crews drilled the 32 geothermal wells that heat and cool the building.
Things were going so well, we threw a party to celebrate the crew's hard work.
The break didn't last long, though. Workers got back at it, installing the glass facade and turning the 57,000 sq. ft. shell into usable space.
We needed offices, conference rooms, and a sweet break room, but we really got excited when workers poured the studio floor, leveling it to perfection.
As that work finished, construction of the newsroom got underway.
With so much of the project already accomplished, it was time to start moving in the technical equipment: boxes and boxes and boxes of servers, monitors, switchers, and racks. While crews assembled and wired everything, we started moving our satellite dishes over to the new media center.
By fall, it was time to start putting together the one part of our building that viewers will see everyday: the set.
And it's much more than just an anchor desk. The weather center is bigger and better than ever. There are reporter venues, an interview set, kitchen, and performance area. As all of that was going up, the asphalt for our parking lot was going down.
By December, we were in the downhill stretch.
Major pieces of equipment were moved and employees packed up their desks, as workers put the finishing touches on the Griffin Communications Media Center.
We're all ready to go, 16 months later.
Our first newscast is Saturday evening at 5 p.m. We can't wait to show you around, so be sure to look for special reports starting then.