What Can We Surmise Regarding The Proposed KDVS Relocation Site

The proposal is to move KDVS from Lower Freeborn Hall to the Gunrock Gaming Room, which is on the side of the UCD Memorial Union Building, as depicted below.

Within the downsizing of offices to one-third of the current size, the space priority at the new location is to maintain the “General Staff” part of the KDVS offices.  This an important cultural aspect of the station, and the chief workspace for volunteers.  Space for “Master Control” is also a requisite part of the station per FCC guidelines.  “Studio B” — the main broadcast studio — is also a priority.  Under ADA guidelines, this studio would likely need to be expanded, but for the sake of this document, we will assume equivalent space.  These three areas consist of 787 SF at KDVS.  The next priority is a record library, which consumes 1103 SF.  With 213 SF left at the new KDVS location, 19% of the record library would be accommodated.

View the current functional space usage at KDVS.


542 SF General Staff Area: Four to five desks, Music Dept,
couch, three computers, public file 
190 SF Studio B (Main Studio)
55 SF Master Control
213 SF 19% of the current Record Library

= 1000 SF (“Square Feet”)
(Estimate of space at Gunrock)


890 SF 81% of the current Record Library
336 SF KDVS Staff Office (Core Staff Business)
80 SF Two Listening Rooms
75 SF  Studio C News Room
160 SF Studio A (Live, Production, and Recording / Auxiliary
Broadcast Studio) 
206 SF Dead Room (Sound-Deadened Studio Recording Space)

The following remediatory measures are being considered to mitigate space loss:

High density archive media shelving for record storage was proposed to increase the density of storage:  Instead of media shelving along walls, it was proposed that archive storage could be used.  The problem is there is a major difference between a “library” and an “archive.”  Libraries accessible for general daily use.  Archives are for select limited access for historical preservation.  The following demonstrates the two regimes:

Record Library: A library is open to convenient access for normal daily use across a wide amount of persons and all times. 
High Density Archive: Archive materials are for research/posterity use.  Each piece is cataloged and denoted with location in a database.  A librarian then retrieves the piece.(e.g., to get to one record stored in the far right shelf, a person needs to manually crank five shelves of archives to the left.)

The first photo is a library: with easy access, many volumes can be pulled in rows in a matter of minutes, with multiple people accessing the library at once. 

The second photo is a proposed high density archiveEach volume takes multiple minutes of moving multiple shelves to access, and one person can only use the archive at one time.  If you don’t know the specific location, or what you’re looking for, it could take 5-10 minutes to locate one record.  Consider the work in executing one radio show: (1) Two hours to pull a couple dozen records in the library to sample-listen two (not including listening time) when previously it might have taken ten minutes, (2) twenty minutes to put back the records you did not listen to, and (3) then after a radio show, another hour to put stuff away. 

For simple listening, a person would need to pull one volume over several minutes of maneuvering shelves, keep the stacks in-place, listen, and refile immediately, instead of pulling a whole bin in five minutes with the current record library

Furthermore, if two people happen to be pulling music at the same time, the first person would need to wait five to ten minutes for the second person to pull a record out before rearranging the shelves to refile the album they have out, and then rearrange the shelves to select another record.  This regime appears flagrantly unsuitable for a radio station with many people a day accessing a collection simultaneously because it is excessively time-consuming.  Students do not have the time for this.

How would high density storage change the available room for the record library at Gunrock?

High density vinyl shelving at best can save half of the space of a normal library.  Within the “best possible situation” with the exclusion of expanding Studio B, 38.5% of the record library would fit (1103/2 = 552 SF.  213/552 = 38.5%).  However, taking into consideration ADA space requirement for Studio B, BAR Architects recommended a modest expansion of Studio B to 213 SF within the original Enhanced DDP draft plan for KDVS remodel. Also, adding one 40 SF listening area, instead of the current two in the current KDVS — as DJs still need to listen to station media — the total for recordings space then follows:
1000 – 542 – 213 – 40 – 55 = 150 SF
150/552 = 27%

With the ADA consideration of Studio B and listening area, it is estimated 73% of the library would still need to be housed off-site in archive storage.

Archives like this are never employed for radio stations for vinyl collections.  High density storage might be ADA compliant on paper, but ironically, for many disabilities, this high density storage is much more difficult to access for many disabilities than the current KDVS library.  KDVS previously declined this high density concept after research when proposed in the Freeborn seismic upgrade for those reasons, and relayed this to BAR Architects.

Off-Site Recording Storage: It was stated off-site record storage was needed because the new KDVS location could not accommodate much of the library.  Since such a secondary record archive location would need staffing, with a person to check volumes in and out, it is presumed that this site would not be accessible for individual DJs for normal radio shows.  The question is which records would be used at the station and which would reside at the archive?  Would specific genres, like “jazz”, be placed in storage because it is assumed less people utilize it?  The idea of segregating the collection based upon popularity of use is antithetical to the mission, history, and legacy of KDVS.  The library would be relegated for simple common airplay usage, and not its heritage of an educational laboratory for students and the community to explore historic analog recordings.  Moreover, this frustrates the execution of the longstanding Freeform format when only the most popular records and/or genres are accessible.  

Digital audio solutions:  With reduction of space, the question of much more to rely on digital audio was presented.  Modern broadcasting employs digital media for its flexibility of use, so there is an implicit decision to move towards partial replacement of physical media.  The issue for KDVS is that there is not a budget for a complete digital library to cover the compulsory facets of licensing, functioning, maintaining, and archiving.  With the move decision made, KDVS is thrusted into a digital dependence, when (A) no planning has occurred, (B) it is not known whether the university would support laptops and private online streaming services, and (C) will UCD require the adoption of new DJ practices when a digital library is made.

There are major implications to consider.  First, it is assumed by the current relocation plan that students might just employ consumer streaming services like Youtube, Spotify, etc. for their radio shows.  This is illegal for a broadcast entity.  A new formal digital strategy might certainly create new rules by campus legal to explicitly prohibit this practice.  Thus, an on-site digital library would need to be relied upon.  However, the time and skills associated with digitizing tens of thousands of albums cannot be advanced via volunteers with ad hoc local hardware (it has been formally attempted at KDVS in the past and failed).  Consider that in the last fifty years KDVS has not even cataloged its physical library because it is too laborious and technically-intensive for the volunteers.  Besides the skill for mastering, track-album dividing, and cataloging, digital rights protocols must be meticulously observed, cataloging the physical copy, assuring proper copyright protections on a system, and providing library back-up(s).  On top of that, professional servers are required and needed to be maintained.  Beyond the hardware aspects, it would require earmarking over $100,000 yearly for a librarian/IT/digital rights position, with hardware.  With this, a digital replacement library would cost more after a few years than just properly relocating the whole collection on-site within the studio.  But if the university is not subsidizing a digital media regime, streaming is formally discontinued, and most of the physical library is in storage, there is a dilemma of how music programming would be executed.  

Elimination of Studio B: Everything that is not live is produced in Studio B.  Recorded announcements, pre-produced programs, interviews, audio editing, news segments, etc all require a fully equipped studio.  A future-designated site for this studio somewhere else on campus is casually speculated by the university, but not guaranteed in writing within the relocation decision.  Furthermore, shifting between studios or combined studio use would be difficult with a remote studio.  Without the university designating this now, KDVS’ future functionality as a broadcast outlet is at question.

Elimination of “Dead Room”: Perhaps one of the most essential parts of the station is a room for live audio, sound recording, and collective audio.  Recording of bands for the longstanding program “Live in Studio A” would be discontinued.  Live debates, radio theater, multitrack recording, or any production of multiple people requiring microphones and production would be eliminated.  Like Studio B, the addition of this room would be a work-in-progress.

Elimination of Staff Office:  An office with desks and computers is essential to any workspace.  The office also a place to catalog and store fundraiser premiums for fund drives, station merchandise, materials for remotes, and publicity banners, for production of publicity products, for placement of file cabinets, to have private uninterrupted professional meetings concerning business and station clients, for creation of news scripts, for coordinated projects, and for general work.  The absence of this area is deleterious for essential station business.   

Elimination of Studio C and listening rooms:  Listening rooms provide the most basic of service for DJs preparing material for radio shifts.  It is thought listening areas might be added to the current plan by subtracting general staff space, but that space is lean as it is.  Studio C provides a quiet, dedicated studio for the news department only.  Like Studio A, the Dead Room, and the library annex, a fourth spot was mentioned concerning the possibility of a news area some place on campus.

Bathrooms: There are no bathrooms integrated with the plan, but it may be assumed the University would grant the hundreds of volunteers associated with KDVS access to the Memorial Union building 24 hours a day.  This might seem like a liability for the University, especially for the women’s restroom, which would require two keys to access in the west wing of the MU.


Location 1 Core Station – Space Proposed
Location 2 Studio A and Dead Room – KDVS needs to appeal
Location 3 Off-Studio Library Storage – TBA
Location 4 News – KDVS needs to appeal
Location 5 Off-Site Bathrooms – TBA