Elgin Community College Business Conference Center

Main Conference Room

This 250-seat conference room is the heart of the facility, completed in 1996. There are two sound systems in this room. A full stereo playback system, concealed behind acoustically transparent panels flanking the screen (dark blue in the photo) provides full range, dynamic high fidelity playback of the audio tracks from both video and audio program material. A completely independent loudspeaker system, concealed in various ceiling elements, provides clear speech reinforcement for lecturers, with very good freedom from feedback.

An acoustic shroud over the presentation area fills several functions. Three video projectors (for mulitple images) are concealed under the shroud. More than a dozen small loudspeakers are concealed behind acoustically transparent grille material in the U-shaped vertical surface of the shroud, and provide speech reinforcement for the front third of the room. The carefully shaped underside of the shroud provides useful acoustic reflections to carry the voice of an attendee seated on one side to the room to those seated on the other side. And finally, the shroud helps baffle the noise of the cooling fans in the video projectors.

A touchscreen controller mounted in the top surface of the presentation podium (at left of center in the photo) allow a presenter to control every element of the very sophisiticated presentation system from very "user-friendly" screens. A second touchscreen controller in the control room allows a technician to operate the system for a presenter who prefers that arrangement (and for other more complex programs). The second podium, to the right of the first, houses a video overhead camera.

In addition, there are a dozen 30-seat classrooms, each equipped with video projection, high quality audio systems, and networked computer systems. The entire facility is connected by the integrated control system. A user can operate any element of the system in his own location, and a technician or facilities manager can operate anything in the building from any location.