Many of us have been watching the construction projects at the south of campus, located across from the Recycling Center, near Folsom Blvd. The multi-story structure is Modoc Hall, which will be a classroom and lab building for the campus Water Quality programs. Both U.S. Geologic Survey and Caltrans Water Quality programs will have offices there. The other, less traditional structure, now houses ourCapital Public Radio, and it has intrigued me since they broke ground last year.
On Saturday afternoon, April 24, I took advantage of the Open House at Capital Public Radio to get a close-up look at this new building. Things were winding down when I got there, so I skipped the refreshments and got a private tour. Everyone who came was given a VIP Backstage Pass, like they use at rock concerts, so we all felt “Very Important”. My guide was Sean Bianco, who has been the announcer and program host of Friday Night at the Opera for 6 years.
The building is
unique. It is crescent- shaped and the rooms reminded me of cells of a nautilus
shell when it is cut in half. Still to be built is the 600-foot broadcasting
tower shown in the architect’s rendering above.
The highlight of the tours was the stop in the KXPR broadcast booth where Sean works as the on-air opera host. The program source was from a satellite connection, so we were able to go in and take a close up look at the new facility. He was almost reverent as he touched the brand new engineering board and told me this was the very first of this model available in the country and that others like it would be installed in NPR stations around the country as they upgraded their equipment. KXJZ Jazz station broadcasts from the booth next door.
I was introduced
to Matias Bombal and Gary Vicelli as we wound through the Music Library and
various offices for News, Development, and Members Services. We even poked our
heads into Mike Lazar’s office to congratulate him and his staff on their
wonderful new building. All things considered, a very interesting afternoon.