The new $18.2 million Clackamas County Public Service Building (PSB) is the first in a series of buildings to house the county’s growing operations. The hearing room located within the new building is utilized primarily by the Board of Commissioners for board meetings and public land use hearings. With a capacity of 150 people, the hearing room is also used for receptions, swearing-in ceremonies and other county events.
According to commissioner Martha Schrader, who is also Chair of the Board, the goal of the new Hearing Room was “. . . to increase the capacity of citizens to engage in the practice of democracy.”
To that end, the room includes a host of audio-visual technology including: a testimonial table with a document camera for citizens to share maps and other documents, cameras and a broadcast booth to transmit proceedings live to public access TV and large display systems at the front and back of the room enabling citizens to easily view presentations and video content. In addition, they wanted capability for the County Clerk to easily control the audio-visual equipment from the front of the room.
The hearing room features a testimonial table complete with an AMX NXT-CV7 touchscreen for control, an Elmo EV-6000AF document camera, laptop connections, a Crown LM-201P lectern microphone and a D’San PSL- 10VF
- Council dais seating area with individual microphones and confidence monitors for city commissioner viewing of content projected on the large screen.
- Phonic Ear Language Translation / Assisted Listening System.
- Broadcast booth for recording, editing and publishing all of the council meetings.
- The Clerk’s table complete with AV control system for:
- Countdown clock
- Equipment rack (for DVD/VCR playback)
- Digital audio recorder
- Lighting and drapery
- 20+ microphones
- Data and video sources to the projector for display on the 15’ screen behind the dais
- Previewing video material and selecting the right footage prior displaying it on the large screen
The hearing room features a testimonial table complete with an AMX NXT-CV7 touchscreen for control, an Elmo EV-6000AF document camera, laptop connections, a Crown LM-201P lectern microphone and a D’San PSL- 10VF countdown clock, which is set by the Clerk and flashes yellow once half of the testimony time has passed, then sounds a buzzer when the time has expired. Once time has expired, the clock begins counting upward to show the testimony’s overtime. The Clerk’s table includes an ELO touchpanel with an AMX NXP-TPI/4 control system serving as the room’s “brain.” In order to simplify control, CompView incorporated a photo of the room on the touchpanel interface with labels over each active area. “The screen graphic labels make control so intuitive that virtually anyone can sit down and quickly understand how to operate the system,” said CompView’s James Lake, who served as project manager.
The Clerk’s table also includes D’San AV-1000 countdown clock control and an equipment rack with VCR, DVD and FTR Gold digital audio recorder. FTR Gold is a computer-based digital audio recording solution that captures, stores, plays back, reviews and manages records of hearings. “One of our biggest challenges throughout this project was integrating FTR Gold into the AV system,” said Lake. “This unique software was designed specifically for the judicial world and was not envisioned for control and integration with an audio-visual system, so we had to utilize our skills in programming to allow the control system to operate the software.”
The room’s video system is anchored by an Epson PL8300 projector mounted to the ceiling, an Onkyo DVD player and Sony VCR, and a full complement of Extron data and video routers, scan converter, and a Cat5 transmitter and receiver. For additional viewing, the Commissioner’s Dais has two 15-inch NEC LCD monitors, and the audience can view everything on a 50-inch Zenith P50W38H plasma monitor. The room’s voice-reinforcement system features SwitchCraft mute buttons with nine Crown LM-201P microphones on the dais and Audio- Technica wireless handheld and lapel mics and receivers and antennae. Audio conferencing is done over a Polycom Matrix package. All reports indicate that the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners is thrilled about its new PSB and the new Hearing Room that County Clerk Mary Raethke said, “…has brought Clackamas County into the 21st Century.”
*Sound and Communications, March 31, 2005 by Jason Frenchman