by Arnold Levine
(Also…check out this week’s North Bay Bohemian article! Click here)
With the commercial rental market so tight in West County, KOWS’ search for a new studio space by December 1st was looking bleak to dire. But the KOWS community came through! One of our herd members, Richard Ruge, took the challenge and found our future home. With the Steering Committee’s authority given them by the Herd we are signing a lease with the Methodist Church at 500 N. Main Street, Sebastopol, opposite Safeway on Highway 116.
The church has some classrooms that they no longer use and we will be able to rent one as our studio with an option to take an additional room if needed should we want to expand at a later date. The space provides a unique opportunity for KOWS to best serve our expanding West County audience as it is central to Sebastopol. There is plenty of off-street parking (except during their Sunday morning service), with two ADA (Americans with Disabilities) parking spaces, ADA bathrooms, and lighting along the entryway. We will also have our KOWS sign prominently displayed on Highway 116.
Historical note: The Methodist church property is the longest deeded, continuously-owned property since Sebastopol’s incorporation in 1902.
The real work will begin once the lease is signed. The classroom needs fixing up for our purposes especially the main console and partition. Some minor electrical work needs to be done to provide reliable supply for our vital equipment. We’ll also need some minor sound-proofing which will include carpeting.
With all of our brawn, brains and fundraising skills pitching in, we can make our move smooth and rise to a much higher profile in the West County community, hopefully just a few months ahead of our antenna relocation.
Once our Sebastopol move has worked out, we also have an opportunity in Occidental to establish a second smaller (satellite) studio at the YMCA Community Center. There is still a lot of detail to work out and we’re going to be reaching out to our Occidental and River community to help at making this a reality. Robert Feuer has offered to help set up a subcommittee to move this forward.