PLATTSBURGH A rebuild of the Mountain Lake PBS broadcast tower is now complete, less than six months after a late-season storm wreaked havoc on the 400-foot structure.
Mountain Lake PBS president and chief executive officer Alice Recore shared the news with those in attendance at a PlattsburghNorth Country Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours function hosted by the station on Sept. 20.
The rebuild of our tower is complete. And what a relief, Ms. Recore said with a smile. Short of some testing and some clean-up, which is happening in the next few days, we will soon be ready to broadcast from our old Lyon Mountain site.
The week following the announcement, testing is still being performed by Electronics Research Inc., the Chandler, Ind. firm hired to design and rebuild the tower.
In the absence of its broadcast tower, Mountain Lake PBS partnered with various telecommunication partners in order to reestablish the stations signal as much as possible throughout the North Country. CBS affiliate WCAX-TV out of Burlington, Vt., carried the signal at its Mount Mansfield tower until August, when a temporary, low-power transmitter was installed at the PBS stations offices on Sesame Street.
Though the work to rebuild the tower is complete, the station is still trying to raise enough funds to cover the cost to rebuild. Insurance covers a portion of the towers replacement value, though the station is still anticipating hefty extraneous costs. The community-supported station has received more than $12,000 from individual donors, but is facing costs of more than $300,000 for helicopter rentals alone rentals needed to transport materials to and from the remote building site.
In addition, Mountain Lake PBS has been seeking additional funding opportunities to off-set expenses.
Upon restoring the signal from Lyon Mountain, said Ms. Recore, Mountain Lake PBS will air a second channel, ThinkBright, an educational program channel carried statewide thanks to an initiative of sister station WNED-TV in Buffalo.
The station will also venture further in its public services, offering local productions in high-definition next year, among other services.
Television has changed dramatically since our first broadcast and so has Mountain Lakes role in the community, said Ms. Recore. We have become more than TV. In addition to providing quality television programming, we have served the community through our educational outreach programs such as Ready to Learn, EdVideo On-line and our media lab.
The station also produces several locally themed programs that are broadcast not only throughout the state, but across the country as well.
Mountain Lake PBS broadcasts educational and informational programming 24 hours a day on analog Channel 57 and digital Channel 38. The station is viewable as fart north as Quebec City in the Canadian Province of Quebec and as far south as Ticonderoga. The station is also seen in various areas of Vermont, including Burlington.
For more information regarding the Mountain Lake PBS tower rebuild or to donate towards the cause, call the station at 563-9770 or 1-800-836-5700, or visit their Web site at www.mountainlake.org .