IN THE COMMUNITY – DECEMBER 2015 – POWER MOVE
As the Historic Westside School building gets a multi-million dollar facelift, KCEP-FM gets an opportunity to build on its mission.
BY KIMBERLY BAILEY-TUREAUD
KCEP-FM (88.1) is celebrating 43 years as a non-profit, urban community radio station dedicated to spotlighting R&B, Old School, Hip Hop, Blues, Jazz, Gospel and community- based talk shows.
For more than three decades, KCEP has been broadcasting from the Historic Westside School building, built in 1923 and recognized as Las Vegas’ first public school. Last January, ground was broken on a rehabilitation project for the building, made possible after the building was declared a historic landmark on the National Registry.
According to KCEP General Manager/Program Director Craig Knight, “Making the Historic Westside School a historic landmark positioned us to have new housing for our station.”
During the initial groundbreaking for the new Westside School building, it was reported that the redevelopment was budgeted at $13 million. “KCEP has moved from the original Historic Westside School building that was built in 1923 to its new location in the school’s expanded building that was built in 1948,” said Knight. “The total rehabilitation project will be complete in June 2016. It will house a museum and non-profit organizations.”
While preserving the design of the original Westside School building, the interior at the new KCEP facility has been upgraded to accommodate the latest technology. “We are now able to reach listeners from around the globe with our new HD digital streaming capabilities,” said Knight. “For example, our radio wattage from the free standing radio antenna tower is 10,000 watts. Now, because of digital streaming, KCEP can reach millions of listeners from around the world.”
Listeners can tune in to KCEP 88.1 FM on their radios or log into KCEPFM.com or Tuneinradio.com on their smart phones, tablets or computers. “Our listenership has exceeded hundreds of thousands of local listeners per week,” said Knight. “Our staff is so excited, and our deejays have really revolutionized social media tools and outreach to the point where other mainstream radio stations are adopting it. I consider it a compliment.”
Knight added: “The new interior space at the station has been updated with a state-of-the-art conference room, an administration section for … staff members and five production studios that have HD digital streaming equipment. Another great thing that I think the station never had is our new state-of-the-art generator, which will sustain the station’s broadcasting ability, even if the power goes out.
Because of our new sophisticated technology — KCEP is officially upgraded and ahead of the game. There are major commercial stations upgrading to the same equipment and program tools that we have. The facelift will also help KCEP expand on its founding mission as a community broadcast training ground. “We have a partnership developing with the Nevada Broadcaster’s Association and plan on offering expanded broadcasting training for high school and college students who desire to work in radio,” said Knight.
For additional information, tune in to call KCEP Power 88.1 FM.