Amherst Media finds temporary home on University Drive

  • Amherst Media’s home since 1991 was this Eversource-owned building on College Street. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Monday, August 01, 2022

AMHERST — An office building on University Drive will be the temporary home for Amherst Media for up to two years as officials at the community access station look to begin construction on new headquarters on Main Street.

Amherst Media’s relocation to 101 University Drive, also known as the Slobody Building, comes after it was forced out of the Eversource-owned building at 246 College St. where it had been housed for more than 30 years.

Executive Director Jim Lescault recently announced that Amherst Media secured the temporary space after initially working with the town and public schools on identifying whether any occupied or vacant buildings might be suitable.

Amherst Media was first apprised of its lease ending in August 2010, yet was able to extend the lease and remain on College Street, even as efforts to buy the building failed. in December 2013, Amherst Media purchased the Main Street lots where its new building will go up.

“The property on Main and Gray streets provided us the opportunity to eventually leave our current address and relocate our facility to a part of town that would make our services and programs more accessible and available to students and community members,” Lescault stated.

But he observes that Amherst Media has confronted delays and legal entanglements that have prevented a seamless transition. Discussions are, however, being finalized with contractors for the construction of the new facility, he said.

Amherst Media’s time on College Street included repurposing an electrical transfer building in 1991 into what Lescault describes as a state-of-the-art community access media center.

The studio also served as the home base for shows hosted by well-known local people, including senior activist Issac BenEzra, former Senior Center Director John Clobridge, retired state Rep. Alice Wolf and former state Senate President Stan Rosenberg,

People can go to the Amherst Media YouTube channel for current government programming.