ITTA BENA, Mississippi – July 2017 — Home to the NCAA Division I Delta Devils basketball and volleyball teams, Mississippi Valley State University’s R.W. Harrison HPER Complex had, in recent years, been starting to show its age following nearly four decades of service. To bring the 87,000-square-foot venue in Itta Bena up to today’s standards, MVSU spent $17.5 million in 2016 to expand the facility with a health and wellness center, add several new technology classrooms, and generally modernize the site with exterior repairs and both accessibility and life safety upgrades.
Following the completion of the major renovation projects, the school’s administration turned its attention to the 2,700-seat multipurpose arena’s audio reinforcement system, which had been deemed “vastly inadequate for this program that is competitive in NCAA basketball,” notes Will Roland of Oxford-based acoustical consultant Roland, Woolworth & Associates (RWA), who was contracted by the architect as the project acoustician and AV systems designer.
After completing a detailed room acoustics and noise control analysis, RWA utilized L-Acoustics’ Soundvision 3D design software to ultimately specify a system comprising 22 ARCS Wide enclosures, six SB18m subs and seven LA4X amplified controllers. With four ARCS Wide enclosures horizontally arrayed above each basketball hoop to address the endcourt seating areas, six vertical arrays of two ARCS Wide flown beneath a single SB18m are spaced out and hung, three per side, above the length of the court for courtside coverage. An additional pair of ARCS Wide flown directly above the court provides audio coverage for those in the game.
Following a competitive bid process, Trooper Hales of Clinton-based MSAudio was awarded the bid to integrate the system, which was sold through 3G East (formerly Beach Sound) of Miami. “Although the Harrison Complex’s overall construction process took more than 18 months, the sound system contract was an alternate that didn’t get approved until the end of the project,” Hales describes. “Then it was a sprint to finish in time for the first event, a basketball game between MVSU and Alabama A&M. Once we received the L-Acoustics order, everything went smoothly and we had the entire system flown in only four days.”
As is often the case with educational institutions, fiscal considerations on this project were extremely stringent. “Our early conceptual designs originally called for ARCS II arrays, but to meet the school’s budget we chose ARCS Wide enclosures because they represented an excellent value in terms of performance versus cost,” Roland shares. “And I’m pleased to say that the results have more than exceeded our initial expectations.”
“Trooper and his team were fantastic in meeting the tight systems integration timeline and accommodating the school during the arena’s re-opening,” he continues. “And everyone that we have spoken with there about the performance of the new system is very happy with how everything sounds—the comments have all been extremely positive.”
For more details on MVSU’s R.W. Harrison HPER Complex and athletics department, visit www.mvsusports.com. Roland, Woolworth & Associates and MSAudio LLC can also be found online at www.rwaconsultants.net and www.msaudiollc.com, respectively.