Streetsboro High School radio station upgrades in high gear

by mike lesko | Reporter Published:

Streetsboro -- Four control boards at WSTB 88.9 FM, the Streetsboro High School radio station, will be replaced before the start of the new school year in August.

On June 25, the Streetsboro Board of Education unanimously accepted a bid from Broadcasters General Store for up to $42,925. The money would come from the district's permanent improvement fund. It represents "the top end of the estimate," Superintendent Michael Daulbaugh said.

The need to proactively upgrade the four control boards was first brought to the Board of Education in October.

"This has been quite a journey," Daulbaugh said, referring to the lengthy process. "We knew it would take several months to put together a bid that actually worked. What we found is, the broadcast industry is so specialized, it is its own beast, for lack of a better word. We actually had a difficult time creating specs under the law because we had to bid this out to be able to put this [project] together."

Daulbaugh said a lot of the work will be done in-house.

Bob Long, a Streetsboro High School teacher who is the radio station manager, confirmed July 3 that he is hoping the control boards will be installed before school starts. Long said it will "probably take four to six weeks for the parts to arrive and about one week to install them."

"I'm excited we finally got [the project] settled, and we'll get moving on it," Long said.

Long said three new control boards are needed before the current ones wear out. A fourth, smaller mixer board is also needed. The life expectancy is about 10 years for audio boards, said Long. Two of the station's boards are 14 years old and one is 15 years old.

"I'd like to get this done before we have problems with the boards," he said. "Everything on the radio that goes on the air runs through the audio counsel."

In addition to the three control boards, a smaller mixer board sits in Long's high school classroom that serves as a small studio where radio class projects take place. Long said the 6-year-old mixer board also needs to be replaced with a control board.

The radio station, which first went on the air March 23, 1972, serves as a place of instruction. There are typically about 50-60 high school students in the introductory broadcasting class each year, he said, and this past school year, there were 22 junior and senior radio station staff members.

"They have responsibilities, either as a disc jockey or with administrative work," Long said. "They get real-life management training."

School Board member Kevin Grimm said the radio station is also used to update the public in case of an emergency.

"If something big were to happen in Streetsboro, the information we're pushing out to the community is, if you go to the high school radio station, you'll hear [an update] every 15-30 minutes if it warrants that," Grimm said. "The radio station is listened to by a lot of people in northeast Ohio. It is our connection from the safety forces out to the community should something big happen."

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9439

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