KDVS to move locations

KDVS to move locations

Photo Credits: The interior of the KDVS studio in Lower Freeborn Hall on October 21, 2019. (Justin Han / Aggie File)

UC Davis campus radio station is one of several organizations affected by the demolition of Freeborn Hall

UC Davis campus radio station KDVS is relocating after functioning out of Freeborn Hall for more than 50 years. UC Davis decided in 2018 that Freeborn Hall (the big triangular building next to the Memorial Union) must be taken down. The decision came after confirmation that the necessary seismic retrofit, which was considered as an alternative to taking down the building, would be too costly to justify. While the building has been closed since 2014, the university has spent the interim considering a variety of options—among them converting the building into an open-air pavilion. Lower Freeborn, the basement level, was declared safe for occupancy, and continued to be used by KDVS until recently, in addition to other ASUCD units such as Aggie Studios, The Pantry and The California Aggie, until they were forced to move locations in preparation for the demolition of the building. 

Luckily, a new base of operations has already been located: the first floor of the Memorial Union.

“Our new home in the Memorial Union will be the stomping ground for our current community to elevate their creative passions, as well as a supportive space for new KDVSers to cultivate their own,” said Noel Fernandez, the general manager of KDVS.

The station intends to remain on-air during the move, but given the complexity of the situation, the specifics of the move remain unclear. Despite this ambiguity, KDVS remains confident that they’ll be able to finish the process during the 2021-2022 academic year.

The new location will offer a significant increase in visibility, in addition to space for the broadcast studio and a lounge and office area. Unfortunately, the new location won’t have room for the entirety of “The Stacks”—the collection of records and CDs KDVS has so diligently collected over the years. Part of “The Stacks” will be stored on-site at the new Memorial Union location, but the remainder will remain in temporary storage until a permanent home is found.

The demolition of Freeborn Hall is anticipated to cost around $5 million (compared to $8.5 million for the seismic retrofit) across six months, with a start date still undetermined. The building’s role as a primary large-event space for the university has been usurped by others like the Mondavi Center and the Recreation Center Ballroom, and as such the extra $3.5 million appears to be too high a cost for the university to pay. 

KDVS is optimistic about the move, and hopes it will play a part in ensuring the station’s viability in the coming years. They intend to provide updates to the student community as the timeline of the move becomes clearer.

Written by: Jacob Anderson — arts@theaggie.org