ST. PAUL-Construction has begun on a $41-million, glass-fronted Minnesota Public Radio building at Ninth and Cedar streets in Downtown. To create the expanded Minnesota Public Radio campus, roads have been torn up and a building will be torn down.

The nearly 300 employees have been housed in three Downtown locations: In the station’s headquarters office at East Seventh and Cedar streets it built about two decades ago, a block away on the 19th floor of the Piper Jaffray Plaza office tower, and at the St. Paul Public Housing building across the street at 480 Cedar St. Ninth Street will be vacated and Minnesota Public Radio will buy the 480 Cedar building from Public Housing St. Paul for $7.8 million.

When the work is done, Ninth Street will be a cul-de-sac with entry from Minnesota Street. The new 120,000-sf building, designed by the Hammel, Green and Abrahamson architectural firm, will double Minnesota Public Radio’s space. It will have eight studios, more public space, a digital library and more.

The new building created a Minnesota Public Radio campus that includes the headquarters, the new building and the Fitzgerald Theater, less than a block away, the home of “Prairie Home Companion.” The public radio station plans to announce a pledge drive to help raise funds for the $41-million building and $5 million in technology improvements and programming additions.

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