University spending $5.7M to remodel church into radio station


Rendering Courtesy Cornerstone University

A university is remodeling a former church to house the operations of its radio program.

Cornerstone University is investing $5.7 million to remodel the 12,400-square-foot space at 3181 Bradford St NE in Grand Rapids for its Christian-focused radio station, 91.3 WCSG.

The program is moving from a 7,100-square-foot office space at 1159 E Beltline Ave. NE in Grand Rapids. The radio station moved into its existing space more than five decades ago. The addition of new staff over the years has led to an overcrowded office complex that now includes three double-wide trailers.

The station has 21 full-time and nine part-time staff members.

Cornerstone began construction on the space last month. The space will include a listener gallery that will better accommodate large group tours, a consolidated IT space, expanded studio space with new broadcast gear, better HVAC circulation and efficiency, a kitchen and larger restroom facilities.

Grand Rapids-based C2AE is the architect and designer for the project. The lead contractor is Grand Rapids-based Christman. Grand Rapids-based West Michigan Office Interiors is providing assistance with office design.

More than 1,600 listeners have contributed to the project’s capital campaign of $5.74 million. The university still has about $300,000 to raise.

Staff is expected to relocate into the renovated building as early as May 2020.

With the expansion, the radio station will look at other market opportunities in Michigan and develop content for new platforms, such as video, according to Chris Lemke, executive director of the radio program.

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