PBS Hawaii wins $5 million grant for new studios

315 Sand Island Road | Google Street View

315 Sand Island Road | Google Street ViewHawaii’s only public television station today announced that The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation has awarded PBS Hawaii a $5 million grant to help the organization build a new home in Honolulu. The educational nonprofit organization has an urgent need for a new facility because it is losing its lease at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where it has occupied space for more than 40 years.

PBS Hawaii’s future home, located along Nimitz Highway at 315 Sand Island Access Road, will be named The Clarence T.C. Ching Campus. PBS Hawaii will renovate and expand an existing one-story building on the site and re-locate operations in 2014. The site, purchased in January 2009, formerly housed the KFVE Newsplex.

“The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation wants to see public television survive and thrive for the sake of future generations of Islanders,” said foundation trustee Kenneth Okamoto. “PBS Hawaii is making an indelible difference in the lives of thousands of young people through its innovative program, HIKI NO: The Nation’s First Statewide Student News Network,” Okamoto said.

PBS Hawaii Board Chair Robert Alm noted that The Clarence T. C. Ching Foundation is known for making strategic community investments, especially in education.

“We’re thankful and honored to have the foundation’s trust and its generous support,” he said.

Alm added that The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation commitment is very important, taking PBS Hawaii past the midway point in its $30 million capital campaign. PBS Hawaii President and CEO Leslie Wilcox said that to date, the station has secured $17 million to create a 21st-century community gathering place and forum for
civil discourse.

In trademark storytelling style, PBS Hawaii rolled out today’s announcement with a visual story, bringing words to life with moving images. Moanalua High School senior Niki Badua, a HIKI NŌ student, introduced “A Tree Grows on Nimitz Highway,” a short video about the life of the late Clarence T.C. Ching and the seeds that his businesses and foundation have planted throughout Hawaii, including early support for HIKI NŌ.

The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation was founded in 1967 by businessman, developer and philanthropist Clarence T.C. Ching to fulfill his vision of helping people in need. The charitable private foundation annually donates significant monies to public and private educational institutions as well as to health and social services organizations.

The UH needs the Manoa space currently occupied by PBS Hawaii to house academic programs. PBS Hawaii’s new site on Nimitz Highway is currently leased to a local business.

Locally owned, with an independent voice, PBS Hawaii is evolving from educational statewide broadcaster to a multi-media educational organization. The private nonprofit is more local, more inclusive, more interactive.

PBS Hawaii connects citizens of all ages with quality programming, sharing trustworthy information, culture and the arts, and lifelong learning.

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