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New RVTV center displaces three families

The community access station will vacate SOUlibrary and move into the multi-media center by December

ASHLAND ' Rogue Valley Community Television will move from the Southern Oregon University library to a new &

36;1.1 million multi-media center at Webster and North Stadium streets by the end of the year.

Building the center will force three families living on Webster Street to move.

The community access station recently received approval for the move from the SOU Planning Committee, composed of administration, faculty and students.

The new 10,000-square-foot multimedia center will offer SOU additional classroom space for its video production course work and could lead to future development of a film/video major.

The center will be funded through 30-year self-supporting bonds to be repaid from RVTV and media revenues. Other funding sources include information technology funds and space rental fees.

We want to be able to expand our programming capabilities, said Joe Brett, RVTV operations manager, noting the station hopes eventually to be on air 24 hours a day.

Brett said the media center will feature a second studio for interviews and a larger sound stage.

RVTV officials said they would vacate a portion of the library by April and expect to move into their new building by December. The station will go off the air for a couple of weeks in December because of the move.

Building the media center means three families living in houses on Webster Street will have to move.

Julie Bedford, an SOU junior art major, said the university informed her family and two others that they would have to move out of their homes by April — to accommodate the new center.

If the university had told us a month earlier, there were two houses vacant across the street and two of the families could have moved in, Bedford said.

Wayne Schumacher, SOU director of housing and residential life, said the university will work with the families to find alternative dwellings.

One of the families has identified a residence. It's not one of the campus residences, but they will be moving in two weeks. We do have an apartment in our family housing (Old Mill Village) that's available to one of the two remaining families, and there's a vacant house available on Indiana Street, Schumacher said.

For Bedford, those options are not optimal.

Unless we get rid of our family dog, we can't live in family housing, Bedford said, adding that the house on Indiana Street is slated to become an honors student house in six months.

I just really want to move into a home where we don't have to move again and where we can have a yard for our dog, Bedford said. If that's all we can do, then we have no choice but to take it.

Ron Bolstad, SOU vice president for administration and finance, said an informational meeting to discuss why that location was selected and what residents can expect during construction is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Old Mill Village Activity Center.

Indeed, three families are impacted, and it's hurtful to them, Bolstad said. We're very concerned about that.

Amber Fossen is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach her at 482-3456.