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Frequently Asked Questions - Building Project

The KVMR-Nevada Theatre project started out as a capital campaign to create a permanent building for the radio station, which would then eliminate more than $70,000 per year in rent, as well as provide more space to enable KVMR to accomplish its long-term goals. A location was selected at the Nevada City Tech Center, but many citizens, city officials and broadcasters preferred that the station to stay in downtown Nevada City. KVMR leadership entered into discussions with theater officials, resulting in a letter of intent describing the general terms by which the two organizations would collaborate to build new building behind the theatre at the site of the three sheds that would meet the needs of both for more space, and benefit the community at large.

The two organizations are creating a public charitable trust, a separate organization with a Board of Trustees to be appointed by the two organizations. The new building, as well as the existing Nevada Theatre building and the adjacent Ice Depot Building, will be placed in the Trust. The Trust will then lease back to  KVMR and NTC their respective spaces at $1 a year for 99 years. That’s pretty much all the Trust will do -- hold ownership of the property, though it will also have the ability to raise funds for the continued improvement of the property. The Trust is structured in the same manner as that which “owns” the Miners Foundry. However, in the case of the “Bridge Street Trust,” it will not have any operational responsibilities for either of the two organizations.

A “Bridge Committee” was formed more than a year ago to make day-to-day decisions on the project and to develop the Trust, including creating a board of trustees. It is similar to an executive committee and includes six members, three from the KVMR Board of  Directors and three from the Theatre Commission. It is expected to dissolve after the Trust is established and the building is constructed. It is important to note that this is not a “merger.” Both organizations will continue to operate as independent entities.

The Capital Campaign is being conducted jointly by KVMR and NTC, with all funds deposited in a campaign account being administered by KVMR. Approximately $1.5 million still needs to be raised. The campaign has secured a private party construction loan to enable us to build while we continue to raise funds. Solicitations are being made for the collaborative project, not on behalf of one organization or the other. It is important to understand that the strength of this campaign is the collaboration of the two organizations to create a community asset. Many donors are supporting the project because of its collaborative nature, not because they are solely radio or theater patrons.

This partnership enables the Theatre Commission to utilize its idle property to enhance the theater for the benefit of its many users. Over the past couple of decades, the Theatre Commission made more than a dozen attempts to plan for development of the dilapidated “shed” lot, but was unable to get any of those ideas off the ground.  By contributing the land and leveraging its fundraising through the collaboration, the Theatre Commission is able, through this project, to obtain the backstage space that its tenants desperately need for green rooms, dressing rooms, restrooms and storage. And by building a new backstage where there is presently none, the main stage will be effectively expanded. Technical enhancements to the 250-seat theater will make it easier to produce live broadcasts of  performances, meeting and community forums.. The new building will be energy efficient and is designed for easy access by disabled persons.

KVMR will have a permanent home in downtown Nevada City with the expanded square footage and enhanced services that it requires, thus securing its future, saving money on rent  and reducing annual operating expenses.  Additional production rooms will enable it to create a second digital channel (KVMRtoo), and to broadcast of a special local news and other programming. A performance studio/community room will accommodate live music performances, community meetings and KVMR and NTC board and committee meetings. Dual day-to-day studios will enable broadcasters to more smoothly transition from consecutive shows and perform maintenance.

KVMR is the county’s official emergency broadcast station, and the new building will provide resources to expand and improve news coverage during weather and other emergencies, thereby better informing and serving the listener’s needs. The community room will provide the community with much-needed meeting space.   The building will include an elevator and will be fully accessible to those with special physical needs, thus better serving all listeners, volunteers, staff and community members. It will enhance KVMR’s reputation as a national leader in community radio programming by increasing the number of venues available to musical acts in Nevada City. The building will be open to the community, encouraging tours and visits from out-of-towners. And it will create a “performing arts district” of the Miners Foundry, the Nevada Theatre and KVMR that will benefit local businesses by drawing more tourists.

All donors to the capital campaign get their names on the building. In addition, there are “naming rights” to the building and all the interior rooms at various levels. Contact Julie Chiarelli, KVMR’s General Manager, at 530-265-9073 or gm@kvmr.org. Or you can contact any member of the Nevada Theatre Commission or the KVMR Board of Directors to donate.