When Marywood University decided to include the communications arts program in the basement of the new Learning Commons building, construction was already underway. This program addition was to occupy the building terrace level with the originally designed rooms relocated to other levels. There were severe limitations on feasible modifications since certain elements of the structure were already firmly fixed.
Acentech played a vital role in space planning, and also provided acoustics, audiovisual, broadcast, and instructional technology consulting services for the critical new spaces. These were a TV studio and associated control room, a radio station and associated control room, animation, audio and video laboratories, a news room, editing rooms and sound booths. The acoustical design of these spaces is significantly more challenging than that of traditional teaching and learning facilities. The main acoustical goals were attaining very high levels of sound isolation, incorporating appropriate sound absorbing room finishes and designing for very low background sound levels via adequate control of mechanical system noise and structure-borne vibration.
The audiovisual and technology-related work was extensive. The TV station includes a full cyclorama for production using ‘virtual’ TV sets, as well as several HD cameras, surround audio console, digital audio workstation recording, and a DMX lighting system. The radio station includes a fully digital broadcast center with network based console and audio processing, broadcast automation system, new FM transmitter and links to the sports complex as well as TV Studio for remote broadcasting. All laboratories have projection and surround systems for instructional use. Editing rooms use a shared media storage server for students’ project work. The two sound booths are designed for voice-over recording for broadcast and production.