From the moment WTVJ/NBC Channel 6 selected Miller Construction Company to build its new all-digital broadcast facility in Miramar, the clock began ticking. The Fort Lauderdale-based construction company had only 18 months to complete the new structure, before the station's former headquarters and studio in a 1920s-era downtown Miami building would be demolished.
Miller Construction Company's Mission Critical Facilities Group applied fast-track quasi design-build principles to accomplish this task. The approach, which can often reduce a development timeline by about 20 percent, saved three months in the case of the NBC6 project.
When the station broadcast its 11 p.m. newscast on Saturday, July 29, 2000 from the new Miramar studio -- two days ahead of the July 31 deadline -- perhaps only the station's employees, and the design-build team knew the full extent of that accomplishment.
"This project had many unique challenges, but undoubtedly the most important was for NBC6 to make the transition without ever going 'off air' or experiencing any operational downtime," said Miller Construction Company Senior Vice President Coty Fournier. "This successful transition required an enormous coordination effort."
A WORLD-CLASS FACILITY
In planning its new home, one of NBC6's primary goals was to develop a world-class headquarters where its 200-plus employees would enjoy a significantly improved working environment. The region's first all-digital broadcast facility includes television studios, corporate headquarters and newsrooms for NBC-6 and the cable channel MSNBC. The space is also designed to accommodate newsroom tours that offer the public a behind-the-scenes view of station operations.
Architect Theodore Roux of Coral Gables designed the Mediterranean-style, two-story facility with input from the noted Miami Beach firm Arquitectonica. The attractive architecture -- including a 120-foot-tall tower with the familiar NBC6 logo -- has already become a landmark near the Miami-Dade/Broward county line in the Huntington Business Park, just east of Interstate I-75.
The facility showcases the most advanced high-tech equipment in the television industry with hundreds of miles of complex digital cabling systems, as well as:
* Fully robotic digital cameras
* Electronic videotape editing stations
* High-speed online connections, so videotapes can be transferred by email
* High-end liquid-crystal display …