By Geneva Peppars
Local radio station KHSU is set to temporarily relocate from its broadcasting station in the Theatre Arts Building. The building is undergoing construction to make sure it is fit to stand an earthquake. A staggering $7.6 million will be allocated from bond and CSU funding to start the project this summer. The Theater Arts building will operate normally through the end of this semester and work will begin this summer, according to Jarad Petroske HSU public affair specialist. HSU is still in the process of sorting out where classes will move, but for the rest of the semester it’s business as usual.
However, the third floor of the Theatre Arts Building has been home to KHSU since 1960. KHSU is a noncommercial public radio station licensed to Humboldt State. Unlike classes, there is no summer vacation for KHSU. All day, seven days a week, KHSU is broadcasting to about 135,000 listeners. David Reed, KHSU Development Director & Interim Station Manager, explained that he has been told the project may take up to a year, but that won’t stop the airwaves from broadcasting from the radio station, it just may be from a few different locations.
“It will be hard, it will be fun, it will be an adventure,” Reed said.
Reed said the station will transition from three studios in the Theater Arts building to two temporary studios in Gist Hall and Wagner House.
Vinyls, satellite equipment and what Reed called the “brains of the studio”will stay on the third floor. The “brains” are the racks of equipment the station needs to be able to receive audio signals by satellite from NPR, automate local programming and stream over the internet. One of the biggest challenges of the transition is finding a home for the 25,000 cds in their music library that is accessible at all times to the over 90 staff, students interns and community volunteers.
Kevin Sanders, chief engineer for KHSU, explains that consolidating three studios to just two smaller ones could potentially affect scheduling issues. Although he is still waiting on the final word from facilities management, he does know that one studio will always be on air and the other will be strictly for production purposes. The way the studios are set up now, broadcasters are able to switch all studios from production to on air, which creates lots of space to pre-record and automate late night shows.
The new studios may not block outside noise as well as the old one, but Reed doesn’t believe listeners will notice a change in sound. “You know they might hear an occasional leaf blower,” Reed said. “But I am keeping happy thoughts.”
The current projected move date for the radio station is June 1. , two weeks before the KHSU June Pledge drive. Although the details have yet to be finalized, one thing is for certain KHSU will remain across the airwaves throughout Northwest California and Southern Oregon.