Ballarat's 99.9 Voice FM is preparing to move to greener pastures, with the community radio station announcing it is aiming to set-up shop in Barkly Square.
The station has called Dawson House home for the past 19 years, a significant chunk of its proud 33-year history, but the growing need for more accessibility led to the board's decision this week.
The board member in charge of the relocation, Ron Egeberg said to qualify for state government funding, the station required full disabled access - right now, at Dawson House, the studios are only accessible with stairs.
If everything goes to plan, Voice FM will take over two former classrooms at Barkly Square, which is quickly becoming a hub for not-for-profit community organisations.
This will allow separate reception, administration, and archival space, with the potential for three or four studios.
"It's subject to funding, we have to find the dollars to do this, but we couldn't wait any longer," Mr Egeberg said.
"The other opportunity is the partnership we're developing with BGT (Ballarat Group Training), and off-street parking, that's a big plus for our volunteers."
Ballarat Group Training holds the lease for the building, and sublets space to community groups - this is something chief executive Graham McMahon is quite proud of.
"It's become a real community hub for not-for-profits, and for collaboration," he said.
"It's added to a real sense of community on the site."
In the past few months, Ballarat YMCA, Ballarat Wholefood Collective, and the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council have all moved in at the former high school.
Voice FM provides an alternative voice in Ballarat, with local music programs, specialist services like The Courier On Air, which reads the paper every day at noon for the vision-impaired and those with other difficulties, and foreign language shows for several communities.
The prospect of new studios and more space is "spine-tingling", volunteer Chris Berry said.
"It's a no-brainer, really," she said, beaming.
"It really feels like the stars have aligned for us, finding this partnership."
However, to get Voice FM and all its transmission equipment across, Mr Egeberg said they'll need support from the community.
The station is run by volunteers, and is planning several events over the next few months to raise money for the move.
Anyone who can chip in, or has ideas on how to help, is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org
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