A More Perfect Union

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Close Cooperation Yields Quick ASU Memorial Union Renovation After Fire

TEMPE, AZ—In November 2007, a fire ravaged Arizona State University’s Memorial Union on its Tempe campus. Originally constructed in 1954 and regarded as the center of campus life, it is estimated that nearly 25,000 visitors make use of Memorial Union’s various facilities daily. While the lower level and first level food court were re-opened within 60 days of the fire, the upper levels sustained extensive damage and needed to be completely renovated.

“For most of a year, it was difficult for us to accommodate meetings and other events

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NetLinx networking products were used throughout the renovated Memorial Union on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. ASU also integrated AMX’s Resource Management Server and networking products. that are normally housed at the Memorial Union, and it was a stressful time for everyone,” recalled Sean Snitzer of ASU’s University Technology Office. The building’s meeting rooms, ballrooms, and conference rooms were used by university personnel and the public, so they were put on a fast track for renovation.

The scope of the project coupled with a very tight time frame required extremely close cooperation among the university, the architect, the general contractor, and the acoustical consultant. “In concert with Sean, we had only a few months available to do over a million dollars worth of AV,” noted acoustical consultant Paul Corraine of Convergent Technologies, “and there was a real success there in the way that the architectural, electrical, mechanical, and other teams all coordinated together to pull this off.”

Corraine said the architect, Phoenix-based Studio MA, stayed in close contact with his team to ensure the AV system would work as needed. “For example, there were particular rooms that had specific-sized openings in the ceilings that were available for loudspeakers so we had to quickly research speakers that were of a certain performance but also of a certain size/dimension that could be tucked away in those spaces.”

AMX touchscreen control panels and NetLinx networking products were used throughout the Memorial Union renovation. “We’ve been partnering with AMX for a long time and have always been pleased with their reliability and technical

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AMX touchscreen control panels support,” Snitzer said. In addition to the touchscreen control panels, ASU integrated AMX’s Resource Management Server and networking products. “With these products, we can manage equipment effectively across campus, get notifications for troubleshooting, check lamp hours when needed, and do preventative maintenance,” Snitzer reported.

“The Memorial Union building has a wide breadth of program uses that require a unique mix of meeting spaces,” Corraine explained. “There is everything from the Alumni Lounge that is used for high-level fundraising events, beautifully finished with high-end projection, videoconferencing, and surround systems, to a theater type room with HD projection, to ballrooms that utilize room combining capabilities, to general meeting spaces. In a space like this you need to have an intuitive user interface that is going to provide a standard feel from room to room so that members of the community, students, and faculty can go from room to room without a huge learning curve. With the AMX products, we could get that consistency. The installation uses wired and wireless control panels as well as the network interface and convergence over the LAN.”

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