TORONTO — Turner Broadcasting System Inc. Wednesday announced plans to construct a $52 million production facility on its Techwood Campus and to renovate its CNN Center, both of which are in Atlanta.

The new 127,000-sq.-ft. building, to be called Turner Studios, will consolidate Turner Prods.’ post production and studio facilities, which carries out the internal post-production and studio work for Turner Entertainment Networks and Turner Sports, World Championship Wrestling and the CNN News Group (excluding the live and studio news related work carried out at CNN Center). “For one, we were out of space,” said Dan Darling, senior VP of production operations for the Turner Entertainment Group. “We’ve existed in an older infrastructure for a number of years.”

Construction begins Thursday, and the shell and most of the interior are scheduled to be completed in May. Then a six month technical integration phase will follow. “We’re looking at opening the doors in the first part of 2000,” said Darling.

In addition to the $37 million construction cost, an additional $15 million has been budgeted to equip the new facility with cutting edge technology, such as live virtual sets and HDTV. Turner Studios will house post production services and a 20,000 sq. ft. studio and is expected to be the largest all digital facility on the East Coast.

The CNN Center’s $20 million makeover, expected to take form this August until August 1999, will concentrate on the atrium and the relocation of the main entrance, the addition of lots of windows and an upscale restaurant.

Shops and restaurants will stay open, and the CNN Studio tour will continue throughout the renovation.