Austin PBS opens new facility in former Dillards department store

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The Austin, Texas, PBS member station has a new home.

The new facility, dubbed the Austin Media Center, is part of Austin Community College’s Highland Campus development, which was converted from a shopping mall and serves as home to KLRU, which brands as “Austin PBS.”

Designed by Gensler and Steinbomer, Bramwell & Vrazel Architects, the facility includes three studios, including one with the ability to include a live audience in a variety of configurations.

Known as a “community soundstage,” the space is designed as the replacement for the original Studio 6A, the home of “Austin City Limits,” the popular music program seen nationwide that KLRU produces. Plans call for the space to also be used to host screenings and live events inspired by PBS content.

All told, KLRU uses about 45,000 square feet of where a Dillards department store once sat and is also the first 12G SDI public television in the country and the largest overall to date.

The remainder of the estimated $55 million, 185,000-square foot complex is used by ACC and its broadcast outlet ACC-TV. The college and station plan to collaborate on a variety of projects, including learning opportunities for ACC students at KLRU. 

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Prior to the move, KLRU was located on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.

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