MT looks to improve sound quality in high school gym

By Martin Graham - [email protected]

Miami Trace Business Manager Bill Franke received approval from the school district’s board of education on Monday to use funds available to improve the sound quality of the Miami Trace High School gymnasium.

Franke — who had been researching the viability of adjusting the re-verb in the gym — brought information to the board of education’s regular meeting suggesting the sound quality in the gym could be made better if they were interested.

“I was asked to take a look at what could be done to improve the sound quality in the new high school gymnasium,” Franke said to the board. “I had that sound study done which pointed to a fairly generous amount of what is called re-verb in that room. It makes the sound bounce. Whenever someone is speaking it bounces around the room. Based on the request I engaged with a gentleman that works for Ketchum & Walton — it is a company out of Cincinnati and they did the wall baffles that are in there currently. He took a look at the gym and I gave him a copy of the sound study as well as the plans of the gym and he has come back with a proposal. It is actually a two-part proposal.”

Franke explained that Ketchum & Walton talk in terms of numbers, and currently the gym is at a “Four” on a sound scale for re-verb. The proposals to put in wave baffles in the ceiling of the gym include a price to lower the re-verb to 2.2 and a price to lower it to 1.8 — in terms of re-verb the lower the number the better the sound quality, but additionally it does cost more to ensure the quality is met.

“One point eight is very good, it is super good and that would be — especially for graduation and things like that where you need to be able to hear very clearly the enunciation of a speaker — very effective,” Franke said. “It costs a good amount more to accomplish 1.8 over 2.2. Basically they go clear up in the top of the room and the company would come in and install them. Many schools where they have re-verb issues do have these wave-style baffles.”

Currently, to get the 1.8 sound quality, it would cost about $50,000 — $12,000 more than the 2.2 sound quality. The board members — after a short discussion — decided that if they wanted it done, they want it “done right” and decided to allow Franke to access improvement funds available to the high school to improve the quality to the highest degree. Franke thanked the board and explained he would return to them in the future with dates, prices and contracts to get the work done.

Also during the meeting, various other administrators and department heads took time to update the board on work currently being accomplished around the district. At the high school, principal Bryan Sheets explained they are looking forward to graduation coming in just a couple months and updated the progress of the class of 2021; for the middle school principal Jason Binegar talked about recent events such as the Variety Show and the Electives Fair; and for the elementary school principal Justin Lanman discussed the recent “Pizza with the Principal” celebrations, their upcoming Biztown event and said they are already preparing for next year.

Also speaking to the board on Monday was instructional technology director Amy Gustin who talked about assisting with staff training at the high school for virtual and augmented reality devices that will continue this week. She also said that staff at the middle and elementary schools will receive some training with Virtual Reality Goggles this week.

Finally, within her report she explained that devices had started to arrive and were being unboxed, but devices for the elementary school would be delayed due to touch-screen glass being unavailable since it is also used in COVID-19 vaccination vials.

The information in this article was provided by Miami Trace Local Schools. Look for more coverage of this meeting in a future edition of the Record-Herald.

Reach Martin Graham at (740) 463-9684 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.

By Martin Graham

[email protected]