Sound, lighting in Warch Campus Center to be improved

Sam Flood

Alaska, the east coast and British Columbia. (Rachele Krtivichi)

The sound and lighting systems
in the Esch and Hurvis rooms
– on the second floor of the
Warch Campus Center – will be
upgraded significantly in the next
few weeks. The Esch Studio will be
receiving upgraded bass speakers,
touch panels to control sound and
A/V, and theatrical lighting, while
the Hurvis Room, which can be
opened to connect with the Esch
Studio, is receiving a significant
upgrade to its lighting capacities.
The upgrade will also allow
sound to be played in the Esch
Studio without being played over
the system in Hurvis and vice
versa.
“This will really give us flexibility
in the spaces,” said Campus
Center Director Greg Griffin. “We
want these rooms to be able to
accommodate anything from salsa
dancing to a techno dance party.”
The change came about when
Austin Federa, a freshman who
is working with V-Day’s annual
performance of “The Vagina
Monologues” as a lighting designer,
spoke with Griffin about the
possibility of getting theatrical
lighting into the Esch Studio for
the performance.
“It turns out,” Federa said,
“that when the campus center was
built, money was budgeted for
the lighting design of these two
rooms, but then the design was
never done.”
Working together, Federa and
Griffin came up with a design,
and they are now implementing
it. Federa added that they have
managed to come in at more than
$8,000 under the original budget,
and, he said, “We’re getting a better
system for the money.”
Among the important changes
are 12 LED wash fixtures, 16 HLP
theatrical lights, and four blacklights,
which will allow the rooms
to function as performance spaces
and as activity spaces, depending
on usage needs.
“We’ll basically be able to make
the room glow any color we want,
and the LED fixtures follow the
campus center’s “green” theme,
because they use significantly less
energy than your standard 1,200-
watt fixture,” said Federa.
All of the work done on these
rooms is in an effort to improve
the campus center as a primary
venue for on-campus student performance,
replacing and exceeding
the old coffeehouse in the basement
of the union.
Thus far, student response
to the transition has been mixed.
Tom Pilcher, a member of the Band
Booking Committee, said that the
campus center is “definitely a step
up from the old coffeehouse,” and
that the café has worked well as a
performance space, but he added
that sound was an issue in
the Esch/Hurvis room during
fall term.
Liam O’Brien, who heads
Soundboard, said that
Soundboard spent most of fall
term looking for a space that
fit them. “The café is noisy,” he
said, “and the people getting
food aren’t necessarily there
to hear music, so it can feel
hostile.”
O’Brien seconded Pilcher
on the sound quality in Esch/
Hurvis, but he added that the
“Pusey room has been a great
venue for Soundboard.” He
hadn’t heard about the new
changes.

Alaska, the east coast and British Columbia. (Rachele Krtivichi)

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