City Again Seeks Bids for Former Firehouse

Tom Giffey, photos by Travis Dewitz

Valley Media Works, which operates Eau Claire’s public-access TV channels, still hopes to buy a former Eau Claire fire station even though the city will soon be seeking other bids on the building. In November, Valley Media Works reached an agreement to buy the former Fire Station No. 10, 559 N. Hastings Way, for $365,000. Valley Media Works – formerly known as Community Television and the Public Access Center – later received a 90-day extension as it tried to raise the necessary funds, but it was unable to do so by a March 31 deadline. In response, the Eau Claire City Council voted unanimously in April to put out another request for proposals on the building. (City officials say the request will officially go out in the next few weeks.) Jerry Barton, executive director of Valley Media Works, said the nonprofit organization will soon launch a capital campaign to raise the funds it needs to make a second offer on the building. Barton said  Valley Media Works hopes to preserve the 70-year-old former fire station as a landmark and to use the space to enhance its capabilities through additional classes and video and audio productions. (Their plans for the building include radio studios.) Currently, Valley Media Works is located inside Banbury Place. “We want to get back into the community and have a place where people can try new things,” Barton said.

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