Valley Public Radio Announces Major Gift For New Facility

May 23, 2014

Bernard Barmann announced the six-figure gift to Valley Public Radio in Bakersfield on May 22nd.
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio
  Valley Public Radio has received a lead gift in their campaign to raise money to build a new facility. Bakersfield residents Bernard and Bee Barmann have committed a six figure lead gift towards the project. The Barmanns are longtime supporters of local cultural arts in the valley. Bee Barmann volunteers to help bring in talented musicians from around the valley to perform on “Young Artists Spotlight” every year. Bernard has served as a Public Radio board member for several years and is currently an Officer for the corporation. In December of 2013, the station purchased land located at the Technology Park at Temperance and Highway 168 in Clovis where they plan to build a permanent facility. The radio station has resided in their current leased facility for over 25 years and during that time, has become an even greater community resource for not only listeners, but for students and serves as a reliable voice for civic organizations. The current facility is limited in studio and production space, and is not able to accommodate musical groups, interns or civic meetings. The demand for opportunities to reflect on the local culture and report news stories has dramatically increased. Since other media have decided to decrease their role in terms of local stories and reporting, the demand for this local voice is more important than ever and reflects the community’s desire for access to information and dialogue.  The new facility will be larger, although the size of administrative offices will remain virtually the same. Nearly all of the expansion is dedicated to studio and production space that will enable the station to expand local news coverage and provide more opportunities for music programming to grow as well. New space will also allow the station to house student interns and additional volunteers. The total projected cost for the new facility is $3.2 million. The immediate goal is to raise $1.2 million by the first of January 2015. The Barmanns’ gift raises the total to over $400,000 since January of this year. Valley Public Radio’s goal is to begin construction of this permanent facility in early 2015 with a move-in date of 2016. The architect for the building is RDT Architecture. The construction company for the project is Zumwalt Construction.