Ballroom - To Do List

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Revision as of 01:26, 5 January 2015 by Dkeenan (talk | contribs)
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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:

Building Code-related & Use permit-related compliance - ie, construction-related (overview)

  • 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.

Cosmetic work (overview)

  • Painting rooms various areas that are still in need of it
  • Finding permanent places to put stuff away that is not 'in the way'

Production-related audio / visual enhancements (overview)

  • Ballroom infrastructure for Sound Amplification, Mixing, Recording, Data (wired & wireless).
  • Passive acoustics: installing Sound diffusion (echo reduction)
  • Lighting: around ballroom, and onto stage
  • Cinema projection / production needs (celluloid & digital): secure installation of projectors, booth(?), quality screen / wall area

Booking process, bottomlining events, & ballroom 'rules' (overview)

  • The booking / reservation process is currently managed by the awesome 'Commons' Working Group so we won't be focusing on it on this page right now, since this page is mostly focused on physical infrastructure. It's important to note though that obviously, having a good process for booking paid events especially into the ballroom is essential to ballroom readiness as well.
  • In terms of the house 'rules' for the ballroom - this is not the point of this document but it can't hurt to re-iterate this the most important rules are:
    • There can be no alcohol (unless specific alcohol insurance is procured for that specific event), smoking, or any illegal substances,
    • No music or any other loud noises after 10pm,
    • No children without their legal guardian present.
    • Review the basic overview about how to book an event
    • Event bottomliners: Stephen wrote up this great page about how to bottomline a ballroom event.

Remaining code-compliance work to ballroom TO-DO's (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
  • Bottomliners for electrical: ?

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
  • Bottomliners for Fire Extinguishers: ?

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
  • Bottomliners for this:
    • Note: panic bar integrated electronic locks are one of the most important things to get done here.
    • Bottomliners should probably be someone from Sudo Room or has facility with electronic access control

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
    • These are just the pneumatic scissor-like things atop doors that push them closed after you open them. (Every major door needs one, it is a fire code req't_
    • Bottomliners for door-closers: ?

Put up official 'This is not an exit' signs onto the following doors:

  • 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)
  • Bottomliners for No exit signs: ?

Remaining holes needing to be patched:

  • The stage-left room has a hole poking into sudo near the floor. This needs to be patched as according to fire code there can be no holes in the walls, rough framing missing walls or lathe missing plaster etc
  • Bottomliners for patching remaining holes (should have drywall experience): ?


New soundproofing (major): Removable skylight covers: fabricated, hauled up to & installed on roof. Also will allow for daytime film screenings / daytime darkness in ballroom.

  • 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 hopefully provide some sound diffusion, too.)
  • If bookcases do not suffice to soundproof the south wall, it is possible that a new layer of 5/8" fire-rated drywall w/ acoustic glue ('green glue') beneath it, might need to be added along this wall.

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.)
  • Bottomliners for Soundproofing: ?


  • Code enforcement is far stricter on basements that ground or upper floors. Therefore, the basement directly 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 of TO-DO's, but most of the remaining readiness work in the basement is:
    • Installing more Exit signs, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers.
    • Fixing ventilation, lighting
  • Bottomliners on Basement code compliance: ?

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
  • Just as importantly we must agree where everything should be stored / go in the ballroom and its adjacent rooms. This includes:
    • TOOLS!
    • Audio / production gear
  • And, we must ORGANIZE all these tools and gear. This is a first step!
    • Bottomliners on cosmetic work: ?

Remaining Production & A/V Enhancements to ballroom (DETAIL)

    • E.G.: All speakers, amps, mic's, rack gear, audio cords & cabling, house instruments, computers, etc
    • This should be done with Sudo's labelling program, which also can create a database of where everything is
    • Bottomliners for compiling gear inventory: ?
  • Ballroom infrastructure for Sound Amplification, Mixing, Recording, Data (wired & wireless).
    • Includes means to patch between stage-right balcony & shattuck-side mezzanine if/as required.
    • Bottomliners for Sound amplification: ?
  • Passive acoustics: installing Sound diffusion (echo reduction), via:
    • bookshelves/library to south wall (moving books & shelves up from basement)
    • install deadening material ceiling to floor across room corners (a la bass traps)
    • Possibly install diffusers to outside of mezzanine railing/fence(?)
    • Bottomliners for passive acoustics: ?
  • Lighting: around ballroom, and onto stage
    • Bottomliners for lighting: ?
  • Cinema projection / production needs (celluloid & digital):
    • secure installation of projectors, booth(?), deploy quality screen / wall area
    • Bottomliners for ballroom projection: ?