Ballroom - To Do List
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Rationale for a 'ballroom readiness' page
- The ballroom represents the greatest potential income resource for the Commons in terms of event rentals. The sooner the physical infrastructure in the ballroom is brought up to code, and the A/V production infrastructure improved / professionalized, AND the booking/event-volunteering process is further improved, the more rentable the ballroom and therefore the more financially secure the Omni Commons as a whole will be.
- Many individuals and groups would like to put on events in the ballroom only to realize their events first require aforementioned work towards code compliance and/or better audio & visual infrastructure. Ergo many have offered to volunteer to help with this, but not all on the same things (A/V production, vs soundproofing, vs electrical, etc.) This page is an attempt to document and thereby help organize the work of all volunteers working on different aspects of ballroom readiness basically so no one is wondering what is left to be done.
- Following a recent spending-freeze hiatus during the last months of 2014, this work on the ballroom is expected to start up again in the ballroom in the second half of January 2015, another reason why this page would be useful to have for communal reference.
- Although this page itemizes the work still remaining to be done, it should be recognized that an astounding amount of physical work has already been done on the ballroom from August-September 2014. Core ballroom volunteers from that time were from Sudo Room, FNB, CCL, and BAPS. Shout-outs to Sean L., Maximillian (FNB), Mary W., TJ, Oskar, Rhodey, Ben B., Patrik D.
OVERVIEW of Ballroom-readiness work: 4 main areas of focus:
- Fire Prevention Life & Safety Code Compliance - Example: Installing Exit signs, emergency lighting, extinguishers, panic bars, etc
- Use Permit compliance - Example: Fabricating Soundproofing for roof skylights.
- Health compliance: Specifically referring to wetbar/kitchenette in ballroom along shattuck, if that is going to be used for coffee, food prep or anything other than booze
- Accessibility compliance - ie, CA ADA for ballroom & adjacent bathroom in cafe.
- Note: technically within the ballroom itself there are no ADA / accessibility modifications planned at this time. ADA modifications are needed and planned outside the ballroom (the ADA bathroom in the cafe, and the wheelchair lift to the ballroom on the stairs from the cafe.) There will be a separate page on ADA improvements needed but they will not be detailed on this page, which is just about changes internal to the ballroom.
- Painting rooms various areas that are still in need of it
- Finding permanent places to put stuff away that is not 'in the way'
- Ballroom infrastructure for Sound Amplification, Mixing, Recording, Data (wired & wireless).
- Includes means to patch between stage-right balcony & shattuck-side mezzanine if/as required.
- Passive acoustics: installing Sound diffusion (echo reduction), via:
- bookshelves/library to south wall (moving up from basement)_
- install deadening material across corners (a la bass traps)
- Lighting: around ballroom, and onto stage
- Cinema projection / production needs (celluloid & digital): secure installation of projectors, booth(?), quality screen / wall area
- This process currently managed by the awesome 'Commons' and 'Booking' Working Groups so we won't be focusing on it on this page right now. This page focuses mostly on ballroom physical infrastructure, but it's important to note that having a good process for booking paid events especially into the ballroom is essential to ballroom readiness as well.
Remaining code-compliance work to ballroom (Detail)
More new electrical EMT conduit & wire pulled to:
- Ballroom mezzanine, above top landing of SE staircase (Shattuck-side) from ballroom floor,
- Electrical run is for:
- Emergency Exit Sign w/ integrated emergency lighting, and
- a permanent light w/ switch, to illuminate the dark staircase
Modern exit sign fixtures w/ integrated emergency lighting ('bug eyes') installed to:
- Above the double-doors opening to the street on Shattuck, leading to the ballroom
- Ballroom mezzanine, above top landing of SE (Shattuck-side) staircase from ballroom floor.
Tagged, current Class-ABC 5lb Fire extinguishers installed to:
- Ballroom Mezzanine, near top landing of SE (Shattuck-side) staircase from ballroom floor
- Ballroom Mezzanine, near top landing of SW (stage-side) staircase to ballroom floor
- Near NW exit from ballroom, ie towards rear of cafe
Panic bars and panic-bar-friendly electronic (fob-operable) door locks - installed to the following doors:
- Both sets of ballroom double-doors leading to Shattuck on East side
- Double-doors on NE corner of ballroom leading to cafe
- Single wide door on NW corner of ballroom leading to back of cafe
Door-closers installed atop all main doors to ballroom, including:
- NE double-doors to Cafe
- NW large door: from Cafe (this is technically in the cafe, but is the only door.)
- both sets of double-doors to ballroom's Shattuck entrance
- SE door to basement
- W door to Sudo Room
Official 'This is not an exit' signs put onto:
- W door to Sudo Room (on ballroom side)
- Door to street from old TIL room (now BAPS room) (on TIL room side)
- SE Door to basement (on basement side)
Remaining holes needing to be patched:
- The stage-left room has a hole poking into sudo near the floor. This needs to be patched. According to fire code there can be no holes in the walls..
New soundproofing (major): Removable skylight covers fabricated & hauled up to / installed on roof. Skylights currently represent greatest potential source of ballroom-generated noise leaking out to neighborhood.
- This is a somewhat big project as the skylights are roughly 5'x10' and there are several. These large covers need to be fabricated and brought up to the roof somehow (crane?). Also they will be quite heavy, so probably a system in which they can perhaps slide into place (say, on tracks) should be installed to roof. Skylight covers need to be weatherproof.
New soundproofing (minor): Finish moving bookshelves & library from basement and install to south wall of ballroom (floor & mezzanine).
- The entire south wall has no insulation so sound bleeds out badly here.
- The books & bookshelves will provide a bit of soundproofing here (and also even more so, sound diffusion.)
Fixes & improvements necessary for existing Shattuck-facing soundproofing (window baffles):
- for the large multi-pane 'half-circle' window on the mezzanine:
- install hand-operable wall-mounted fixtures/brackets to hold panes of this large window baffle system tightly in place. Currently the individual baffle pieces are fit into place and screwed directly into the wall around the perimeter - we need to replace the woodscrews system with something more permanent / less damaging
- fixing of at least one soundproofing baffle panel of the few that close up the 'half-circle' window
- for the smaller rectangular windows along the mezzanine:
- the wrought-iron grille around each window needs to be unscrewed and the moulding around the window on the inside needs to be thickened (built up) so that it is easier to slide the window baffles in and out. Currently it is very difficult.
- there needs to be a latching system to firmly set the baffles in place. Currenly there is none and they are not always snugly in the windowframes (necessary to block sound - we want no space for air to get through here.)
Ballroom Fire Code compliance is: DEPENDENT ON BASEMENT FIRE CODE COMPLIANCE
- Code enforcement is far stricter on basements that ground floors. The basement under the ballroom must clear Fire inspection if the ballroom above it is also to also clear Fire.
- In other words, the ballroom is in fact dependent on the basement clearing Fire inspection
- The basement should have its own page, but most of the remaining readiness work in the basement is:
- Installing more Exit signs, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers.
- Fixing ventilation, lighting
Remaining Cosmetic work on ballroom (DETAIL)
- To my knowledge the following ballroom rooms need a coat of paint:
- Stage-left room (drywalled): Please use drywall-specific primer on the wall first before regular paint
- Upstairs stage-left room & balcony
- Ticket-booth room (drywalled): Please use drywall-specific primer on the wall first before regular paint
Remaining Production & A/V Enhancements to ballroom (DETAIL)