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Renovation Project Begins at New Studios

Renovation project begins at new studios on Clay Street in Ukiah, and Building Fund launches in the new year.

KZYX has asked longtime Mendocino County general contractor Estok Menton to undertake the renovation of KZYX’s property at 390 West Clay Street in Ukiah. The site will become a new headquarters for the station, including air studio and production facilities, as well as administrative offices. KZYX purchased the property — formerly the acupuncture clinic of Dr. Grace Liu — in September of this year, and we hope to move in by Fall 2022.

Estok his and firm, Menton Builders, will lead the task of upgrading and modernizing the two buildings on the site, which were built more than 70 years ago. Working with Menton Builders is the architectural firm of Richard Ruff and Associates, also based in Ukiah.

The project is complex. It involves not only renovation of the buildings including such basics as rewiring and plumbing, but the creation of on-air and production studios, as well as installation of the NPR satellite dish and construction of a 90-foot tower on the site. We are also modifying the building to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The renovation and move could cost as much as one million dollars.

KZYX will launch a capital campaign early in 2022. Stimulus funds received from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will provide a chunk of operating expenses for the next six months, leaving the board and staff free to focus on raising money for the building fund.

In the meantime, enter the volunteers! In the past few weeks, some members of KZYX’s volunteer corps of nearly 100 have been helping to demolish specified walls and ceilings. The group includes W Dan Houck, host of The Discussion and The Treehouse; Jamie Roberts, host of Radiogram; Fred Wooley, host of The Audible Feast; Jeff Ellis, a member of the KZYX building task force; and others.

It is especially valuable and meaningful for KZYX to benefit from the skills of these volunteers, all accomplished carpenters. A big thank you goes out to them, and to everyone who has been or will be assisting us in this endeavor. We’re also grateful to Menton Builders for their generosity and willingness to work with KZYX as a nonprofit.

If you would like to help in this project in any way, please email me: marty@kzyx.org

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.