Ron Jankowski (standing) gives a tour of the new 1,800-square-foot studio on Tuesday night. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Ron Jankowski (standing) gives a tour of the new 1,800-square-foot studio on Tuesday night. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

New Channel 4 studio receives rave reviews from Palos Heights officials

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By Jeff Vorva

The reviews are coming in.

And they are all glowing.

Palos Heights’ Channel 4 started broadcasting in its new studio on Jan. 24 and in the following weeks, guests have been touring the place.

Before Tuesday night’s city council meeting, some of the aldermen took a tour of the former Southwest Central Dispatch building, 7607 College Dr., which now houses Channel 4.

“It’s a wonderful TV station that they have produced,” Alderman Jerry McGovern said. “We have the best TV station in the entire state of Illinois.

“For a town of 12,000 people, there is not another studio like it in the state.”

Alderman Jeffrey Key said it was “very impressive” and that not only is the technology is top-notch, but the people involved in running the station – Ron Jankowski, Carl Germann and Dave Wierzal – are some of the best in the business.

“Carl was telling us that the staff members that produce these shows are like family,” Key said. “And I think it shows. It’s a real blessing to our community.”

Jankowski, who helped start the station in 1999, repeatedly thanked the city for all of its support in helping the station grow. The studio space has gone from 400 square feet in City Hall to 1,800 square feet in the new digs.

Again, those who have seen it since the opening have come away impressed. But Sue Jankowski, Ron’s wife who was also on board at the beginning, said it took some hard work to get it that way.

“It was just so horrible,” she said about the condition of the building before the makeover. “It was unbelievably mangled, dirty, filthy…holes in the floor, wires everywhere. It was a mess.

“Now, it’s beautiful.”

Ron Jankowski said much of the restoration was paid for by Comcast and AT&T.

Expensive projects

Alderman Don Bylut had five items of business in the Water and Sewer department approved and they combined to cost more than $315,000. That included a $218,911 price tag to rehab the Menominee Lift Station.

Alderman Jack Clifford said he sees more expensive work ahead because the water and sewer system is antiquated. He said more funds need to come in to be able to play for those projects.

Bylut said his committee is on top of that and is also bracing for price hikes of anything that is done in the future. Projects are also being delayed because of the lack of equipment and a backlog of supplies.

“We’re in the process of addressing financial shortfalls down the road,” Bylut said.

Mayor Bob Straz said he was looking for grant money from the state and will have a meeting with 6th District Congressman Sean Casten about the city’s need and plans on bringing up Palos Heights’ needs for infrastructure repair.

Editor’s note: This story has been edited to correct the address of the new Channel 4 studios.

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