November 14, 2017 was not only the first day of a four day Fundraising Drive at WKHS, it was also the first day for the first year students of the program to have time on the air.
Located at Kent County High School in Worton, MD, 90.5 WKHS is the only FM High School Radio Station in Maryland. Students in the school’s Broadcasting Program are on the air during school days.
The station went on the air on March 28, 1994. Alumni of the program will still recognize the station, which is the reason that for the past few years they have been doing their own Fundraising Drives for much needed upgrades and renovations to the station. This past week was their second on-air drive. The first was this past spring during their 43rd Anniversary celebration
The studios were originally constructed in 1973-74. In 1987, the on air studio had furniture and audio console replacement. This studio console was replaced again in 2002 and is once again near its life expectancy. In 1995, the main Production studio had console and furniture replacement and in 2007, the other remaining two production studios had their consoles and furniture updated.
Wall acoustic treatment has consisted of several generations of foam panel replacements. The material disintegrates over time and the students, being students, “pick” at the material creating additional holes. Part of the project is to have this material removed, drywall installed over the original wall panels. Acoustic treatment will be accomplished with fabric based panels.
The On Air studio is small with equipment racks taking a great deal of space. Any On Air guests are located in the adjacent News studio. Moving these racks along with new furniture and audio consoles will allow students and guests to be in the On Air studio together for interview segments, currently there are a few that occur on a weekly basis. With this redesign the newsroom can be transformed into an independently operated studio.
Chris Singleton is the current Station Manager/Instructor and was a member of the class of ’84. He began his involvement with the station in 1983 when as a student of the Electronics Program was asked to repair a piece of equipment. In 1989 he came on as the Station Engineer, a role he has held since. In 2007 he took on the dual role of Station Engineer and Station Manager/Instructor.
June Fox, who was the program instructor in the late 1980’s, came back to the station on November 14, 2017 and spent the majority of the day working with the students. Fox was the Station Manager that hired Chris as the Station Engineer in 1989.
The on-air fundraiser ended on Friday, November 17, 2017 and the students will go back to their normal broadcast schedule playing a variety of popular music of the past five decades along other programs produced by the students.
It’s not too late to donate. There is a Donate Button on the station Web page – WKHSRadio.org
About WKHS 90.5 FM
Founded by the Kent County Public School System in 1974, WKHS is one of the most powerful high school stations in the country. At 17,500 watts with flat terrain all around, our signal can be heard for up to 60 miles in any direction. In a time when many educational stations are being scuttled to divert funding elsewhere, we are proud to continue to inform and entertain our listening audience, while training the broadcasters of tomorrow.