WKAR-TV Channel 23 East Lansing is preparing to begin construction of a new broadcast tower that will replace the original that was built in 1953 at WKAR's transmitter and tower site on Dobie Road in Okemos. Tower construction and installation of a new broadcast antenna on the tower is expected to continue through June 2011.
Construction was approved by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees at their June 18, 2010 meeting.
The project will replace WKAR's aging tower on the same site as the current tower. Completion of the tower and installation of a new antenna, will allow WKAR to increase broadcast power. The end result will be improved reception for both the WKAR Radio and Television signals.
"The tower replacement project allows us to accomplish three necessary and important things effectively, simultaneously and in a cost efficient manner with the least disruption to viewers and listeners. This includes replacing a 57-year-old tower, replacing irreparable and obsolete radio broadcasting equipment and allows WKAR-TV to increase power to improve the station's signal" says WKAR station manager Kent Wieland. "This will be done without increasing WKAR's vertical footprint."
Construction at the tower site is expected to continue through May with the new antenna mounted an operation by June 2011. On occasion, to facilitate construction and beginning in April 2001, WKAR will periodically operate at reduced power. This schedule is pending any delays not accounted for by icy or bad weather during the winter. Notifications will be posted on WKAR.org, the stations' Facebook pages, and in WKAR's e-News. Viewers and listeners are encouraged to subscribe to the free weekly e-News at wkar.org/subscribe.
Wieland adds that the construction or brief periods when WKAR operates on reduced power will not affect most cable viewers.
"Okemos residents living near our broadcast tower should not notice any discernable increase in noise during the construction of the tower," says Wieland. "There will be some periodic additional traffic of construction trucks on Dobie Road."
The tower and antenna project was made possible by grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program, supporters of WKAR, and matching funds from Michigan State University.
WKAR is part of Michigan State University Broadcasting Services and includes WKAR-TV's four digital television channels, WKAR Radio's AM and FM stations, online service WKAR.org and public services, WKAR Ready To Learn and the WKAR Radio Reading Service.
edit: updated construction schedule with new dates