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AtlasIED Provides IP-based Audio System for New YMCA Center

A new 62,000 square-foot YMCA in Urbana, Maryland recently upgraded its communications system with the help of Audio-Video Group and AtlasIED.

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AtlasIED Provides IP-based Audio System for New YMCA Center

The new 62,000 sq. ft YMCA center. Image courtesy of AtlasIED.

The administrators of a new 62,000 square-foot YMCA in Urbana, Maryland, recently upgraded their communications system with the help of Audio-Video Group and AtlasIED.

The administrators disclosed that they had more than the recreation center’s current communications needs in mind when they contacted Audio-Video Group to design and deploy an IP-based audio system throughout the facility.

Empty basketball stadium

Inside the YMCA. Image courtesy of AtlasIED.

“One of their main objectives was having a high-quality communications system that would serve all their needs now, but could be easily expanded over time to connect with an older YMCA location across town, as well as with the school district’s middle and high schools that sit directly behind the property,” said Audio-Video Group sales director John Pierce.

Pierce and the rest of the AV integration team revealed that they chose AtlasIED’s GLOBALCOM.IP system for its installation and configuration flexibility.

Audio-Video Group paired the customizable communications platform with a combination of roughly 100 AtlasIED speakers and IPX Series endpoints to ensure that guests and employees, whether on the basketball court or in the swimming pool, taking an outdoor yoga class or running on the track, could hear and see routine and emergency notifications.

Addressing YMCA’s Audio Zones

According to the company, Audio-Video Group has partnered with AtlasIED for 21 years, and has installed numerous GLOBALCOM.IP and IPX Series products in many schools, healthcare facilities, and houses of worship throughout Southern Maryland. The company added that besides being familiar territory, the AtlasIED technology met all of YMCA’s communications needs.

However, Audio-Video Group acknowledged that the project had its own set of challenges where within YMCA, each structure (like the aquatics center, health and wellness center, running track, fitness studios and gymnasiums, meeting rooms, and outdoor exercise spaces) had its own specific acoustical and communications requirements.

Computer screen plugged into a wall.

Setting up the communications system. Image courtesy of AtlasIED.

“Unlike most projects where we design a communications system for a specific space, for the YMCA we needed to design a system to serve many different types of spaces but within the same enormous facility,” added Pierce.

Through the GLOBALCOM.IP GCK software, Audio-Video Group said it was able to customize messages, alerts, announcements, and music for each of the YMCA’s 15 audio zones. For example, they broadcasted pre-scheduled, pre-recorded daily reminders in certain zones while playing music in other zones.

Furthermore, live announcements from the microphone of AtlasIED GLOBALCOM.IP Digital Communications Stations were distributed to the respective zones selected via the station’s built-in touchscreen. According to the company, this minimized unnecessary distractions yet afforded staff the flexibility to page facility-wide when required.

Selecting the AtlasIED Technology

According to AtlasIED, the following components were used as part of the audio system at YMCA:

  • GLOBALCOM.IP IP100 Announcement Control System
  • GLOBALCOM.IP GCK Core Software
  • 2 GLOBALCOM.IP Touch Screen Digital Communication Station
  • 5 DPA804 800-Watt, 4-Channel Amplifiers with Dante Accessory Card
  • 6 AP-15T Horn Speakers
  • 7 AP-30T Horn Speakers
  • 8 SM63T-B 6.5-inch 2-Way All-Weather Speakers
  • 5 IPX Series IP-DD Dual Sided LCD Endpoints with LED Flasher
  • 3 IPX Series IP-DM Wall Mount LCD Endpoints with Talkback Microphone
  • 6 IPX Series IP-SDM Wall Mount IP Speakers with LCD Display and Talkback Microphone
  • 6 FAP43T 4.5-inch In-Ceiling Speakers
  • 60 PM4FA 4-inch 2-Way Pendant Mount Speakers

Handling Emergency Notifications Within the Facility

Notification screen attached to a wall of an empty corridor.

Announcements at the YMCA. Image courtesy of AtlasIED.

Additionally, the GLOBALCOM.IP IP-100 Announcement Control System handled emergency alerts with similar smart solutions. According to the company, each zone was equipped with a panic button, which when pressed, triggered the GLOBALCOM.IP processor to transmit a pre-recorded notification to preset zones.

“This highly customized method of communication ensures that the right people receive the alert,” explained Pierce.

For example, if there was an emergency on the pool deck, the alert would go exclusively to the central office and offices of the aquatic staff. However, for campus-wide concerns like a fire, everyone throughout the entire facility would be alerted. Likewise, if the YMCA’s fire alarm system tripped, the GLOBALCOM.IP system would automatically send an audible alert to all AtlasIED pendant, surface-mount and analog speakers, as well as red-colored text notifications to the built-in LCDs of AtlasIED IPX endpoints.

Planning Solutions for Every Space

Angled view of gym ceiling in the YMCA

The gym at YMCA. Image courtesy of AtlasIED.

The company further stated that getting the right information, in the right format, to the right places was only part of its main responsibilities. They also needed to carefully calibrate the audio to deal with the YMCA’s challenging acoustics.

According to Audio-Video Group, the huge expanses of glass, hard rubber flooring, and high ceilings could have rendered audio intelligible had they not configured the DSP tools available via the five DPA804 AtlasIED amplifiers on the GLOBALCOM.IP network.

The company added that they reset the level, EQ, and high/low filter of each amplifier after analyzing the acoustical characteristics and obstacles of the individual audio zones.

Looking Toward the Future

As plans for the new YMCA rolled out, Audio-Video Group said that it was there every step of the way. “We had eight design meetings with the YMCA team at different stages of the project, reviewing the facility room by room, space by space,” recalled Pierce.

This provided Audio-Video Group and the YMCA with a clear vision of how the communications system would look and operate, while AtlasIED provided a solution that suited the entire recreation center.

According to Pierce, AtlasIED’s GLOBALCOM.IP communications system and IPX Series endpoints brought a unique blend of form and function to the YMCA. “The integrated clocks on the IP endpoints and the stylish speakers complement the structure’s modern aesthetic, while the GLOBALCOM.IP system meets every communication need now and in the future,” said Pierce.

About the Author

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Amala finished her MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College, Boston, and is currently an Associate Editor for Commercial Integrator. She joined in October 2021.

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