Capital Campaign Phase I: Modern Broadcast Facility

Jun 22, 2018

Goal: $2.5 Million- Timeline: Fall 2019

The Need for a New Facility

Originally designed as a medical clinic, KSUT’s existing facility that houses two FM radio stations and 11 staff members has always presented significant challenges from both a space and technology standpoint. As a result of outgrowing the facility more than 15 years ago, desks and workspaces are currently located in closets and hallways and the equipment used for programming is situated in a basement that is prone to flooding. In short, the quality of programming one hears as a listener is in stark contrast with the space that creates it.

Antiquated on-air console

While KSUT has done a yeoman’s job in producing programming of exceptional quality in spite of its inadequate space, the vision of serving the Four Corners for the next 30 years and beyond is not possible in the present facility. The new facility will provide a healthy work environment that will promote staff wellness, increase productivity and enhance programming in a number of ways: boost the station’s ability to create public affairs programming, host in-studio interviews and musical performances, maximize the sound quality of KSUT’s broadcasts, create a modern multi-media recording and performance studio.

The Need for Updated Technology

KSUT’s broadcast equipment is more than 20 years old and relies on obsolete technology with replacement parts no longer in production. The Internet streaming relies on re-purposed desktop computers, which create tenuous and unreliable delivery of the web-based signal. There is an entire new world of modern broadcast technology that KSUT will employ guaranteeing clear and reliable service for years to come.

Southern Ute Tribal Support

KSUT was founded in 1976 as one of the first tribal radio stations in the country. While KSUT Public Broadcasting is now an independent nonprofit, a strong partnership remains. The Southern Ute Indian Tribe has granted long-term use of a 5,000 square foot building in Ignacio to house our new broadcast facility. The estimated in-kind value of this 30-year lease is $1.8 million. Tribal Council has also offered $1 million in matching funds to the capital campaign to renovate the building provided KSUT raises an additional $1 million in new gifts and pledges to the campaign between June 2017 and October 2018.

Eddie Box, Jr. Media Center

Our new media center will be located less than 1,000 feet from our current studios and is named in honor of our longtime board member Eddie Box, Jr. Eddie’s father was co-founder of the station and the entire Box family has left an indelible mark on KSUT. Eddie’s steady leadership has supported our growth to serve numerous communities in our region while maintaining a commitment to KSUT’s Southern Ute Tribal Radio signal. The Media Center will include

• Green construction including sophisticated and environmentally-friendly systems.

• ADA accessibility with spaces that are safe and pleasant for employees and visitors alike.

• Modern, acoustically-treated and ergonomically designed on-air studios and production rooms conducive to live interviews and production of public affairs programming.

• Smaller production spaces for special projects by the community, volunteers and staff.

• Multi-media production and recording capabilities.

• A combination of individual and open office spaces including flexible storage options and adequate kitchen and break facilities for staff and guests.        

Key Functional Elements: 

• Space Planning: The building and site spaces will be designed with primary consideration to health, safety, comfort and flexibility.

• Sustainability: Sustainability practices will be integrated relating to site, water, energy, materials, indoor environmental quality and transportation as is practical within the constraints of costs and schedule.

• Minimizing Operational Costs: Durability, ease of operation and maintenance will be foremost considerations in inclusion of products and systems. Highly efficient heating and cooling systems will be designed and installed, as will other self-generating and energy saving alternatives. Building design will include a super insulated shell/building that meets building specifications.

• Minimizing Capital Costs: Donated and discounted building products and pro-bono services will be used when possible to reduce overall capital costs.

The facilities are projected to serve the needs of KSUT staff, listeners and the community for an estimated 30 years. Additionally, in the coming 10 years, the facility will house a one-of-a-kind tribal media center for recording, archiving, training and promoting Tribal Radio excellence for tribes throughout the Americas.

In a rapidly changing media environment, the opportunity for new facilities comes at an ideal time. KSUT is well positioned to respond on behalf of its listening friends and audience.

The New Facility: Programming and Technical Advantages

• Advanced ethernet wiring that allows for use of new and modern networked audio equipment, back-up generators and multiple signal delivery options.

• An on-site transmission tower that directs radio signals to remote transmitters, reducing the number of “jumps” the signal must make before             reaching a listener’s ear.

• Digitization and archival of the KSUT vinyl and CD library.

• Modern back-up power system capable of supplying the entire facility with enough power to continue to not only broadcast programming, but also to stay connected to the Emergency Broadcast System.

• Multiple studios providing redundant broadcast capabilities, so in the event that a component fails in one studio, there are at least two other back-ups.

• Climate controlled studio, office and equipment areas ensuring longer life of broadcast components.

• Advanced surge protection throughout the entire facility protecting it from the frequent lightening storms that affect the area.