Storefront Studio Start to Finish

January 2nd, 2016 - Posted in Blog

With nearly 1,500 hours of energized volunteer time and generous financial support from our global listening community, we finished VoV’s new satellite studio in downtown Vashon.

There are so many people to thank for making this dream come true, and we expressed our gratitude to all – along with giddy joy – as we hosted an open house and our first live KVSH 101.9FM broadcast on Friday, February 5, 2016.

Some of KVSH's show hosts at the new studio in town.

Some of KVSH’s show hosts at the new studio in town.


VoV’s Storefront Studio gets a big VoV logo.


Since Zabette Macomber and Kelly Straight invited Voice of Vashon to create a downtown broadcast studio last Fall, we’ve been working hard to make that dream come true.
How is it all happening?  Generosity fuels the VoV machine.  With major donations from Vashon-Maury Islanders and a capital grant from K.C. 4 Culture, we were able to raise the money required to build the facility, purchase broadcast equipment, install sound proof windows and doors, and feed the infrastructure beast.  Thanks to contractor Jon Carlson, the project has stayed on time and on budget.
With the money raised and more than 1,000 generous hours of volunteer labor so far, we’re on the verge of making that dream real.  Volunteers have painted the new studio walls and ceilings and installed new flooring.
If all continues to go well, we hope to open the new VoV Storefront Studio between Zombiez and the Creamery on First Friday, February 5th.   That’s when we’ll want to thank you personally, Vashon, for helping us to become your virtual Town Square.

Construction is happening at the space fronting on Vashon Highway at the former Robinson Furniture building. Soon, construction will be replaced by live disc jockeys and TV shows.

“This is an opportunity for VoV to fulfill its mission of connecting to the community in the most profound way possible,” said Storefront Studio Project Manager Rick Wallace. “We love our current studio perched out of sight up at the back of the Sunrise Ridge property. But this new additional space puts us right in the heart of Vashon town, where we will be more accessible and more visibly fulfilling our mission to be a virtual town square for the Island.”

The station plans to broadcast its popular weekday KVSH Morning Scramble show from the new studio, which will be large enough to accommodate live performing artists, entire bands, roundtable discussions, and even a small television shoot. The space will also serve as the anchor point for getting out critical information during an island emergency. Live Open House broadcasts during First Friday Gallery Cruise and Strawberry Festival will add to the sense of community engagement.

“We’ll recruit and train volunteer DJs and producers so we can add more live shows at other hours across the day,” said KVSH FM Program Director Jeff Hoyt. “Folks walking and driving by will be able to see the DJs at work through the windows on the sidewalk. We expect the studio to help bring in new volunteers and the heightened visibility should make it easier for us to keep adding memberships to help sustain our many services to the community.”

Voice of Vashon was approached about the space by the building’s new owners, Kelly Straight and Zabette Macomber, who liked the idea of a community-centric organization occupying the front of their building.

Realizing that they were being offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that would not likely come around again, VoV board members quietly began reaching out and floating the idea to its major donors.

“We didn’t want word getting out until we were certain we could secure minimum funding to start construction,” said VoV Board President Jean Bosch. “The initial response was terrific and we reached our minimum funding goal rather quickly.”

Building a radio studio with a 28-foot wall of windows fronting the main artery through the island is no small challenge. Voice of Vashon hired a Seattle acoustic engineer to design a plan that would not only isolate the studio from the sound of the aerobics classes happening on the other side of the studio’s back wall, but shut out the noise of Vashon Highway as well.

“We actually don’t mind a tiny bit of noise bleeding through from the street as it will add a fun layer of ‘local’ to our broadcasts,” said Hoyt. “However, we also want the studio to sound tight and professional because we believe that we’re creating some high quality programming right now that provides an attractive alternative to much of what passes for radio these days.”

Construction is going on now along Vashon Highway in the space that sits between Zombiez and the new ice cream shop. Acoustic materials and radio equipment will be installed once refurbishment of the space is completed later this fall.