Meeting Topic: Technical Tour of Westfield’s Grand Junction Plaza
Moderator Name: Jay Dill
Speaker Name: Russ Hopple, IMEG Corp; David Wright, IMEG Corp; Brian McCullagh, New Era Technologies; Chris McConnell, Westfield Parks & Rec
Other business or activities at the meeting: Brief announcements were made about membership, membership levels (associate vs. full member) and the change in name to the Indiana Section was officially announced.
Meeting Location: Grand Junction Plaza, Westfield, IN, USA
The Indiana Section toured Grand Junction Plaza, a unique, new six-acre park in Westfield with multiple zone-based audio systems and a number of performance venues, all with integrated wireless control. Russ Hopple and David Wright from the local engineering firm on the project opened our tour with a discussion of the planning and design of the park. The park was envisaged with an ice rink, a smaller amphitheater adjacent to a creek running through the park, a permanent structure for a café, and a large amphitheater with a band shell. The ability to use the park for a variety of events, or consolidate all technical functionality to support a single large concert was considered from the outset, along with maintaining a semblance of acoustic support from the surrounding buildings. In particular, special consideration was taken with the exterior design of the café situated opposite from the main stage, which features a faceted exterior stone wall facing the amphitheater to provide diffusion. Chris McConnell, the park superintendent, joined the discussion and explained that the park opted to purchase all audio systems, with the main stage featuring L-Acoustic line arrays with smaller center hangs and front fills, with Danley and Renkus-Heinz all-weather speakers distributed throughout the park. The system is managed via a Q-SYS platform for day-to-day operation, and Yamaha CL3 connected via Dante serves for larger shows, along with a full complement of analog lines. The FOH position is connected through subterranean conduit terminated in a buried cement electrical vault, which in turn houses a stainless steel outdoor electrical box populated with Neutrik weather-resistant connectors.
The constraints of municipal funding necessitated value engineering during the design phase. The most impactful change was the decision to defer construction of the band shell. The shell included an enclosed area which housed the central machine room for network and audio infrastructure across the park. Brian McCullagh from the audio integrator on the projected described the changes to cable runs, including increased distances, caused by the move of the machine room to the adjacent green room building. Knowing that the rack room may be relocated when the band shell is completed, the installers left cabling to allow wiring to be pulled back to the original location. Likewise, rigging for the center array was converted to a temporary solution due to the band shell change. The tour concluded with listening to the main amphitheater sound system.
Written By: Brett Leonard