Alvernia University CollegeTowne building on Penn Street in Reading

Building that will serve as new Berks County TV studio and office.

READING, Pa. | Through a collaboration with Alvernia, Berks Community Television (BCTV) will move operations to a new studio and office setting, at the university's Reading CollegeTowne campus.

BCTV, one of the oldest and longest-serving cable access managers in the country, spent nearly 40 years in downtown Reading and announced its new home will better serve the entire Berks community.

"Our team is excited to return to downtown Reading and to be a part of the dynamic development of Alvernia's CollegeTowne project," said BCTV Executive Director Heather Adams. "This relocation is a critical step in our long-range plan to strengthen our local community media resource while creating opportunities to be ambitious in our mission."

BCTV says it will work with the Communication Department and O'Pake Institute for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship to develop experiential learning opportunities for Alvernia students, local businesses and entrepreneurs in the university's student-powered entrepreneurial lab.

Alvernia students, faculty and staff say they will work together to develop engaging content, including programming, podcasts, blogs, PSA campaigns, social media takeovers and local event coverage.

"Community-driven media is a timeless and vital component of economic and community development," said Alvernia President John R. Loyack. "BCTV has long been the go-to place for community information, and their progressive movement to downtown Reading will greatly benefit our students and the residents of Reading and Berks County."

The university's Communication Department stated it recently added a track for sports media and added a health communication minor, as part of an update cycle to position the program to meet the needs of the marketplace for current and future students.

The move to the Reading CollegeTowne campus will also add curricular enhancements to the programs, officials say, as new spaces and cutting-edge technologies will allow for greater learning opportunities.

"Alvernia communication students will greatly benefit from the collaborative programming with BCTV," said Senior Vice President and Provost Glynis Fitzgerald. "This partnership, combined with a refreshed communication curriculum and new technology and learning spaces at our CollegeTowne campus, will afford our faculty and students new, cutting-edge opportunities."

In January, Alvernia started a $20 million renovation project on its newly acquired building at 401 Penn Street, which will serve as the hub of Reading CollegeTowne, a strategic model for economic development in downtown.

The downtown location, where the new O'Pake offerings will operate, is slated to open in August 2021, according to officials.

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