TOP
STORIES
 1 of 5
Virtue of the Ugly: When AV Mirrors Rock n’ Roll
It's time for AV integrators to follow in the footsteps of great rock n' roll musicians... and aim for more than just aesthetics.
 2 of 5
Academy Awards to be Drenched in Dolby Atmos Sound
Over half of the Oscar-nominated films for best sound editing were mixed in Dolby Atmos, including American Sniper, The Hobbit and Unbroken.
 3 of 5
Porsche Drivers Get Even More Attention Thanks to Digital Billboard
Australian billboard equipped with vehicle recognition technology caters its message directly to approaching Porsche drivers on the highway.
 4 of 5
Purdue Football Fans Get a Clearer View of the Action, Rain or…
Ross-Ade Stadium at Purdue University upgrades its outdoor display screens around the stadium and in the VIP area with SunBriteTV.
 5 of 5
DSE 2015 Apex Award Finalists Announced
DSE announces 32 Apex Award finalists from a field of nearly 80 entries all vying for a shot at this esteemed digital signage recognition.
HB Communications, Manufacturers Team Up To Help Sandy Hook Survivors
The integration firm dedicated 300 man-hours in four fast-paced days of installing equipment for Newtown, Conn., school re-location project.

Article


Chalk Hill has been renamed Sandy Hook and now hosts students and staff displaced by the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. (Photo: AP)
January 04, 2013 | by D. Craig MacCormack

Some projects aren’t about maximizing the bottom line. They’re about helping people return to a somewhat-normal life following a tragic situation.

Such was the case when HB Communications of North Haven, Conn., set out to help the survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre gain access to world-class technology at their new school across town.

“Obviously, everyone was mortified when they heard about what happened [at Sandy Hook] but we knew we could help them,” says HB Communications CEO Dana Barron.

Newtown, Conn. is about a 35-minute drive from HB’s headquarters, he says, and HB has done work in the town’s high school, but not in its elementary schools in the past.

Barron heard from HB’s partner company, Atrion Networking in Warwick, R.I., that it was installing security and phone system equipment donated by Cisco at the formerly shuttered Chalk Hill School for displaced Sandy Hook students and staff and volunteered to help in any way it was needed.

The same was true of integration firms RnB Enterprises of Newtown, Conn., and Valley Communications Systems of Chicopee, Mass., Barron says.

After Barron and two HB Communication project managers did their initial walk-through at Chalk Hill on Dec. 21, they reached out to manufacturer partners for help in outfitting 37 classrooms before students returned to class on Jan. 3.

After initially toying with the idea of transferring as much technology as possible from Sandy Hook to Chalk Hill, Barron says the companies decided to instead give the students and teachers new technology in their new classrooms.

“That was the right thing to do,” Barron says. “It was very emotional seeing people trying to put their classrooms together and seeing the students there too.”

All 37 classrooms got new Smart boards, Mitsubishi projectors and audio systems, and the library got two Sharp 70-inch interactive displays. Installers were able to bring four Smart Rover systems from Sandy Hook and have them ready for any future use as the school system needs them.

C2G and Chief Manufacturing also donated equipment to the effort, says Barron, and FedEx waived all delivery charges to help expedite the process. Installers had all of the equipment but the smart boards by Dec. 26, then got half of the boards Dec. 27 and half the next day. They were done with the installation by Dec. 30, says Barron.

For HB Communications, that meant about 300 man hours over the course of four days for a project that would typically take at least a couple of weeks, he says.

“There were so many trades and so many volunteers at the school along with the teachers and students,” says Barron. “We could have had all 150 of our employees there helping, but we had to do it in a more controlled way.”

While the three A/V integrators generally were little more than competitors for projects in the past, Barron speaks fondly now of the bonds formed with RnB Enterprises and Valley Communication Systems in working together on such an important and emotional endeavor, especially in such tight quarters and under such a compressed deadline.

“A lot of these people were thanking us, but I don’t want thanks,” Barron says.

“We were in a position to help and we consider it a privilege to be able to do so. This is our home so we all felt the overwhelming need to help in some way. One thing we learned is if everyone really wants to cooperate, it’s amazing what you can do.”

About the author

Craig MacCormack is a veteran journalist with more than 15 years experience covering local and national news and sports as well as architecture and engineering. He joined Commercial Integrator in January 2011. Follow him on Twitter: @CraigMacCormack.
View all posts by D. Craig MacCormack
Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources



Recent comments

You are correct! The distinction is that this is the 37th consecutive year that films using Dolby audio technologies…

Posted by Chelsea Cafiero on 2015 01 22 · commented on
'Academy Awards to be Drenched in Dolby Atmos Sound'.

    “Dolby Atmos debuted in June 2012 in the Oscar-winning animated film Brave.”

Posted by Ken DeLoria on 2015 01 22 · commented on
'Academy Awards to be Drenched in Dolby Atmos Sound'.

This is great for Cambridge. Though LogiSon has had this ability for a number of years with their networked…

Posted by Frank on 2015 01 21 · commented on
'Cambridge Sound Management Enables Sound Masking Across Multiple Locations'.

I know LEED is big in some areas of the country, but it never has taken off here in the Washington, DC area,…

Posted by Jerry Stuckle on 2015 01 20 · commented on
'Green Globes Certification vs. LEED: What You Need to Know'.