KWWL construction project nears $10 million - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

KWWL construction project nears $10 million

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A nearly $10-million dream turns to reality a little more every day at KWWL.

2016 marked a big year for Channel 7 by unveiling the new newsroom and set to provide a better news product to all viewers.

Countless hours of construction come together following a busy year at KWWL.

Despite the noise, the news always continued.

After putting in more than four decades at KWWL, Anchor Ron Steele said he was more excited than anyone about the late October launch of the new studio and set. 

"A station like ours, a medium-sized station can do anything the networks can do," Steele said.

The possibilities are endless.

"This new technology has evolved so much, that we can present the news in so many options to them," Steele said.

With much of the work done, KWWL General Manager Jim McKernan focuses on the last part of the project of turning the old studio and set into an updated administrative complex for the station.

"This has been the culmination of phase one of our reconstruction project. It's an 11,000 sq-ft rehabilitation by taking our studios and news offices from our first floor, where they were for nearly six decades to the second floor where we're launching a state-of-the-art facility," McKernan said.

McKernan says extra steps were made to ensure the project didn't destroy the building's rich history.

"This building is very old. In fact, one of my favorite pictures of the building dates to World War I with and Overland automobile, a bunch of the guys in the automobile doing recruiting for the first World War," McKernan said.

It's a transition everyone has been waiting for, and it happened over night.

Meteorologists aren't the only ones excited about the new set. Reporters and anchors will be able to showcase stories differently now, to give you a better understanding of what's going on in the world.

"It's truly amazing. The staff has been energized. The real big story here is that for our viewers, we're going to have all types of new technology to allow us to tell stories better with weather, severe weather, and day-to-day stories in and around eastern Iowa," McKernan said.

But the work isn't done just yet.

KWWL Chief Engineer Dan Whealy focuses on phase two, which is set to wrap up this coming summer.

"We want to make sure this building shines when it's done, and that it's done correctly. So, we haven't been taking any shortcuts that are important to us, as far as historical accuracy," Whealy 

Phase two of the project includes turning the old studio and newsroom into an updated administrative complex for the station.

According to managers, they're still examining what to do with available space on remaining floors by possibly turning them into apartments.

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