with Don Lipari

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Tap On Tin That KVMR Makes Its Move Within A Week

They'll still be knocking on wood a few more days at KVMR 89.5 FM.

Or maybe it'll be tin that they're tapping, since that was the primary look of the ancient storage sheds where the new Nevada City radio station building now stands -- with repurposed tin in its outside look -- adjacent to its neighboring partner, the Nevada Theatre. 

"So far, there've been no showstoppers," grinned Chief Engineer Dave "Buzz" Barnett as he and a bevy of volunteer helpers rush to make the new station studios operational. 

And owner's representative Diane McIntire -- who has been watching the building process from day one on behalf of the radio station, its broadcasters, the theater commission and the community -- looks relieved when she said all that remains to be done is "a lot of little stuff."

The Bridge Street Project parties dodged a possible delay when a generator test got moved up and the equipment easily passed the test, according to McIntire. 

So KVMR's business offices are scheduled to move across the street from the radio station's current headquarters on Friday, with the studios and signal slated to debut next Wednesday. 

That will be in two state-of-the-art broadcast studios -- among other on-air options -- that offer what Barnett called "a unique combination of new and old."

Why is that?

"Well, most new radio station installations don't have turntables and CD players," Barnett noted.  "So we had to adapt the equipment because many of our broadcasters still use them." 

In addition, there were some potential problems with a brand new telephone system.

"Configuring it was very complex," Barnett said, "But (volunteer) John Adams stepped in and got it done, giving me more time to work on the studios."
"It just isn't the '90s over here (the new building) any more," quipped another volunteer at work. 

Current plans have broadcasters passing a microphone from person-to- person to mark the transition to the new building, starting at the old studio and proceeding across the street to a studio in the new facility, each saying their name.  If plans stay on schedule and the tin tapping works, that would take place next Wednesday at 4 p.m. and will air live during special programming with songs marking the move from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on KVMR (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming).  

Over 100 suggestions for last and first songs in the old and new studios have been received so far, according to Development Director Cynthia Tweed. 

Next month, the station is planning a community open house in the new  building, 120 Bridge Street at Spring Street, during the day on Saturday, March 14. 

Meanwhile, the KVMR Capital  Campaign is still seeking funds to help pay off the new building, which also houses a new backstage area for the Nevada Theatre, and some naming rights and donor wall opportunities are still available, according to campaign director Michael Young.

Young can be reached at myoung@kvmr.org or 530/265-9073 extension 218.

NEXT GENERATION on eTOWN

Justin Townes Earle, son of Americana music artist Steve Earle, will join rising roots singer-songwriter Sam Baker as musical guests on the next eTown program Sunday night at 7 p.m. (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming).