Jasper — Jasper High School’s radio station, The Scratch 93.7 FM, is now on the air live with JHS students running the show.
Wednesday is National High School Radio Day and at 7:30 a.m. (if all goes as planned) the new station will begin streaming live online from its website scratchradio.org.
In celebration of the holiday, students will be at the mic live all day long. “There could be mistakes,” Elrod said, “but I put a disclaimer on the website that this is still very much a work in progess. The whole purpose of this is that it is educational radio for the students. They are going to get on there and they are going to make mistakes.”
Songs have been screened for potentially offensive lyrics but working within the budget that Elrod has for the project, he acknowledges there might be some slip ups. “If something gets through, we want the public to contact us immediately so we can remove it,” he said.
To help prevent that thought, Elrod sent the students on a dirty lyrics scavenger hunt to make sure as few get on the air as possible. “There are going to be growing pains.”
Elrod had hoped to be broadcasting live on the high school’s new 100 watt license on Wednesday but he is still working through installing the new antenna. “We may have it done by the end of the semester,” he said. “And we have some seniors who want to come operate it over the summer.”
On Wednesday, the radio will be broadcasting live from the high school cafeteria all day long and will have a live mic roaming the hallways of the school for on-the-spot interviews. “It could be really good,” he laughingly admits, “or it could be really, really bad. It’s on all day and we are going to have fun.”
Jasper High School’s new station joins 58 new high school radio stations across the country that also launched Wednesday.
Here is a story about the new radio station.
The Scratch 93.7 FM, the Jasper High School media class radio station, will be broadcasting across the city soon.
The Greater Jasper School Board heard about the expansion through a video presentation Monday evening. School media teacher Evan Elrod was unable to attend the meeting personally because he was in Indianapolis attending the Business Professionals of America conference.
Elrod took advantage of the government shutdown to apply for and receive a special permit from the Federal Communications Commission.
The station, which has operated at .25 watts — barely enough to reach the edge of the high school parking lot — is now licensed to transmit up to 100 watts; enough to cover Jasper.
The Huntingburg Airport has offered to donate one of the three 100-foot tall approach towers to Jasper High School for the radio station. The towers at the airport have to be removed to comply with Federal Aviation Administration guidelines.
According to Elrod, he greatly appreciates the offer from the airport and manager Travis McQueen, but the expense of moving and installing the tower has led him to consider other options. At this time, Elrod is exploring adding an antenna to one of the light poles at the JV baseball fields near the school.
Elrod said he plans on putting the antenna in place over Spring Break. His goal is to launch the new Jasper radio station on April 23, National High School Radio Day.
“The students have really put a lot of work into The Scratch,” Elrod explained. “It was a lot of fun for a while, but, you know, now it is really exciting.”
Students currently broadcast live in the morning from 7 to 8 a.m. and prerecord material for the rest of the day. Elrod would like to see the program expand to include lunch and end of school broadcasts.