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Milestones in the KZYX Building Project, September 2022

Boonville Architect Ron Verdier hands off the final plans for KZYX's new building to KZYX Operations Director Rich Culbertson.
Boonville Architect Ron Verdier hands off the final plans for KZYX's new building to KZYX Operations Director Rich Culbertson.

This month — after nearly a year of planning and preparation — the final floorplan and site plan for KZYX’s new home at 390 West Clay Street in Ukiah was submitted to the City of Ukiah along with an application for a building permit. Boonville architect Ron Verdier worked closely with Project Director Alexis Vincent to complete the plan, coordinating with City of Ukiah officials, KZYX staff, and some two dozen contractors.

We’re excited to share this good news with you!

Set on a park-like half-acre, the site at 390 West Clay Street has two buildings constructed in the late 1940s. The larger building, about 1500 square feet, will become the radio production complex, featuring three fully-equipped studios — any one of which can serve as an on-air studio — plus an all-purpose room that can double as a studio to accommodate musical groups, political debates and radio theatre. The building will also house offices for production staff, including Operations, Programming and News. The second building, about 750 square feet, will be used for administrative offices, including Membership, Bookkeeping, Underwriting and Management. The property will include a drought-tolerant landscape, and accommodate a 90-foot tower and NPR satellite dish.

It’s a huge undertaking, and we now know that the final cost will come to nearly $2 million. This is the new goal for our capital campaign, and includes the mortgage of $345,000. We’re confident that this investment will enhance our ability to broadcast high quality news from NPR, as well as timely and relevant local stories, entertainment, music and public affairs. We will be able to securely connect our community through our remote studios and strengthen our role as an emergency broadcast service for the county. And for the first time, KZYX will have its own home, and a secure base.

Greg Krouse and others in a field in Anderson Valley
KZYX Volunteer Greg Krouse, KZYX Board Member Len Tischler, Ukiah Project Director Alexis Vincent and KZYX Chief Engineer Brian Henry at the Philo Fire Station site on September 20th.

Through the generosity nearly one thousand KZYX supporters, the campaign for the building has raised $377,020. If you’ve contributed, you’ve made it possible for the station to complete Phase One of this very important project, and we’re grateful for your belief in the vision that has brought us to this moment. Thank you!

Nearly 33 years ago — on October 15th, 1989 — KZYX went on the air for the first time. The founders understood the vital need for a public radio station in Mendocino County. They saw NPR news as an essential service for this remote, rural community. They also saw the unique value of giving access to volunteer programmers, who could tell the story of our diverse area from the ground up. And — even though the station was headquartered in the small village of Philo — they understood that the station had to include the entire county. Not only to ensure enough financial support, but because across the 4,000 square miles of Mendocino County, we are all connected.

As we gear up for the Fall Fundraising Drive, our semi-annual on-air extravaganza to raise operating funds — we count on your continued support to ensure that KZYX continues to deliver its unique and essential service to you and your neighbors, every single day.

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And wait, there’s more good news!

On Wednesday, September 21st, the Anderson Valley Community Services Board of Directors approved a contract with KZYX to put a new remote studio near the Philo Fire Station, about a mile northwest of Philo off Highway 128.

A trailer at the current Philo location — now serving as office space — will be moved to the fire station site, and become the station’s new headquarters in Anderson Valley when the main studios move to Ukiah. The trailer will be remodeled as a broadcast studio and music library. A staff office will remain.

Spearheaded by Anderson Valley resident and KZYX volunteer Greg Krouse, this transformation will take shape over the next year, and include a restroom, deck and parking area.

Thanks to Anderson Valley Fire Chief Andres Avila for his assistance in this endeavor. KZYX Board Member Len Tischler also helped in the project. And we are grateful to the AVCSD Board for their support.

KZYX will always be part of Anderson Valley. We love you, Philo!

A pioneer in community radio, Marty Durlin came to KZYX after serving as manager of KZMU in Moab UT. Her longest tenure was at KGNU in Boulder CO, where she helmed the station for more than 20 years, cofounded the Grassroots Radio Conference and served as chair of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, the Pacifica National Board, and the Rocky Mountain Community Radio Coalition. Also a print and radio journalist and a musical playwright, Durlin has spent her career in community media and community theatre. To reach her, email marty@kzyx.org.