Each year at the holidays, a time of renewal and community, our employees select the projects during the past year which have meant the most to them. This past year has been, as everyone knows, simply extraordinary. I would be surprised if there is anyone in this entire world who has not been touched in some way or another by the cold grip of this pandemic. As my team and I reflected on this crazy year, we were truly awed at the flexibility, humanity, and resiliency, of everyone we worked with. We are proud of the strength of our relationships with our clients and what we together accomplished this year. As 2020 closes (YIPPEE!), we are excited at the prospects of 2021, our seventieth year in business. We look forward to celebrating this momentous milestone year with everyone!
Please continue to stay safe and enjoy a peaceful holiday season.
Cheers to all!
Catherine and the Shanahan Team.
Newbridge on the Charles, Dedham MA
This year the Newbridge on the Charles’ Theater broadcasting project is a perfect example of rising to a challenge that led to a new style of an integrated system for Shanahan. When their IT team approached me about the existing broadcasting system for their residents, it was very clear that, while it worked, it was limited and required extensive in person setup from their theater room. With COVID quickly arriving in late February, this unprecedented circumstance became the driving factor to seek a new remotely operated video switching system to control their broadcast. In meeting the challenge, we were able to implement Splashtop software and reconfigure the way Newbridge utilizes their system. The completed project was a great success and furthermore, provided my team with a new style of remote access that we are implementing for other clients.
Hutchinson North America, Hopkinton, MA
My favorite project this year was all about difficult cable pulls and managing time constraints. The installation at Hutchinson was on paper ordinary, functioning as a typical paging system. The first challenge in this case was finding the path of least resistance to run our cables in a multi-zone situation. The second challenge was an install in a building that had limited hours of access. I looked at this install almost like a puzzle, strategizing what needed to be prioritized and completed when. I also really enjoyed working with our contacts at the site. The Hutchinson team was very accommodating to our needs. They worked to block off certain areas of the facility closing production areas as needed to fit our installation schedule. It was quite rewarding to see the project through to completion.
Lynnwell Electric – Boston Public Library, Dorchester, MA
The hearing loop in the new Boston Public library in Dorchester is my favorite project of 2020. Since returning to Shanahan, this was my first involvement in a trenched loop wire cut into cement. Compared to the hearing loops I had previously installed under carpet; this loop will remain a permanent fixture in the building and be far less prone to damage. The only difficulty with this superior loop installation method is the logistics of cutting the cement floor and managing the waste and debris. To effectively cut the cement, we have to run water into the saw leaving us with about 20 gallons of a cement and water slurry to remove from the site. In making this effort easier, we experimented with a new product to turn the slurry into a semi solid material that was safe to bag and dispose of. I really enjoyed working alongside my team to develop a more efficient, safe, and cost-effective way of trenching into cement. The project also couldn’t have run more smoothly without the help of Lynnwell Electric. They were very accommodating to our demands of clearing the room and providing us with a water hookup as well as disposal of the cement slurry. All of these elements together culminated into a very successful install that stands out as my favorite for the year.
Celebration International Church, Wayland, MA
The year 2020 pushed us all to grow and adapt. In doing so, it directed my focus into a new line of video streaming solutions. Celebration International Church stands out in my mind as my favorite project because it was my first experience completing a multi-camera streaming system installation by myself. It was also the company’s first major installation with the PTZ Optics SDI series cameras that would be configured for control over IP. Using my existing AV knowledge, I quickly adapted to the new technology and everything went as planned. After having such success with this project, I have since gone on to further my knowledge in streaming cameras. I am now the lead installer for IP camera streaming solutions at Shanahan.
Dana Hall School, Wellesley, MA
Having a love of history and growing up in England surrounded by buildings that are centuries old I have come to enjoy the challenge of integrating new and useable technology into spaces that where never designed with that in mind. Bardwell Auditorium at Dana Hall School, the oldest building on campus, is such a space. This 600-seat room features a large stage, dressing rooms, costume and prop storage areas, a fully functional scene shop and technical theater classroom. The auditorium is used for theater productions, concerts and recitals, as well as all-school events such as traditions, convocations and lecture series. Back in 2014, it was determined the existing sound system needed an upgrade. After much discussion about the location and performance versus the aesthetic the speakers where replaced. Over the next few years digital wireless microphone systems replaced the existing analog systems and a video distribution system was installed to route a camera feed to peripheral rooms in the building. Fast forward to 2020 when a major overall was completed. A new Allen and Heath digital mixer and digital snake, amplifiers, and speaker processor where all integrated into a balcony mix position. Finally, new subwoofers were located inside the architectural cavities stage Right and Left providing full sound for Theater productions. And always, it is a pleasure to work with the great people at Dana Hall School making this my favorite project of 2020.
Masy BioServices, Pepperell, MA
Not surprisingly, this year signified a shift in the way many of our clients handled both in-person and remote meetings. With health and safety at peak focus we were tasked with updating multiple conference rooms for an improved experience both on and off-site. We took two great Boston sports team-themed meeting rooms and overhauled the systems for a far more comfortable and streamlined operation. The large conference room received two new beautiful 85” televisions for in-person attendees, as well as a multi-purpose microphone system with both ceiling and worn mic options, and a high-quality streaming camera to connect with call-in visitors. The entire system from a picture, sound, and speech standpoint performs incredibly well and gives Masy the convenience of conducting meetings across any platform they like. This is the type of system that allows for complete freedom to operate as the client desires, with upgrade paths across the board if there are any needs to expand or improve upon as technology changes.
VA Hospital, Bedford, MA
It has been a trying year for everyone. The silver lining for me has been watching how everyone has worked through the new obstacles and challenges in life. One of the biggest has to be how to safely visit loved ones that are in assisted living facilities. The Veterans Affairs facility in Bedford, MA was faced with this problem. With the help of few groups, they created fantastic rooms that have a plexiglass partition dividing the space. This allows for safe visits for both the residents and visitors. The challenge for us was to allow both sides of the room to be able to communicate clearly. With the help of a speech transfer system by Contacta, we were able to set a couple of the spaces up for them. It has been a huge hit with VA, their residents, and visitors. For me that has been my favorite project this year because with a few different organizations working together, we put in place a solution that has alleviated a huge stress for so many.