Sequim Gazette staff
KSQM-FM celebrated its fourth anniversary with a big announcement: The station’s broadcasts will soon be booming across the peninsula and into British Columbia when its current 40-foot broadcast tower is replaced with a new 155-foot tower.
The power also will be amped up, from 700 watts to 2,400 watts.
On Friday, Dec. 7, the station crew held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new tower, a 210-foot by 210-foot patch of land just off Blue Mountain Road. The land is owned by the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
“Our First Federal Tower” will cost $300,000. First Federal pitched in $50,000 to help pay for the tower and to purchase the naming rights for five years.
Phase I will include the installation of a 155-foot steel self-supporting tower and the installation of all utilities.
A small concrete building also will be built on-site to hold the broadcast equipment. An underground diesel tank will be available to fuel a backup generator.
Phase II will include installing a network of translator sites that will allow the station to reach Neah Bay, La Push, Lower Elwha and the Jamestown S’Klallam tribal lands.
Bob Schilling, the station’s general manager, said his team is planning to have the new tower online by Dec. 13, 2013.
Schilling said, “We’re excited to celebrate this anniversary milestone. Not many community stations have the kind of longevity that we have enjoyed and we attribute the success of the station to the support of our listeners and underwriters.”
Following the groundbreaking ceremony the station hosted an open house at the station, which is at 577 W. Washington St., Sequim, in Kite Girl Plaza.