Our Favorite Projects of 2014!
It's January and the winter chill grows deeper. We at Shanahan wish to share with you what has now become a tradition: our Annual List of Favorite Projects! Before we get there, we are excited to inform you that one of our past "Favorite Projects", Temple Beth Elohim, has been chosen as one of five candidates for the prestigious Harleston Parker Medal. This annual honor recognizes "the single most beautiful building or other structure" built in the metropolitan Boston area in the past 10 years. If you would like to vote for Temple Beth Elohim, you can vote here.
We hope you enjoy the following selected from 2014, knowing that the selection process stimulates lively discussion and team pride.
We wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015. And we thank each of you for the role you play in our continued success.
Catherine and the Shanahan Team
Our Favorite Projects of 2014!
Tom Chapman, TechnicianRiverWoods Retirement CenterExeter, NH
As the junior member of the Shanahan team I have installed the most hearing loop systems. Our staff-designed layouts are based on the actual space, technical readings and at times require intense workarounds. At Riverwoods, an independent lifestyle community, it was a particularly difficult workaround. We had to think out of the box in order to create a seamless system in spite of a fixed stage on one of the walls affecting our layout. I liked the project knowing we met the challenge successfully with our approach. It was a carefully thought out project that came together really well. But the main reason I chose this as my favorite project is the customer reactions. I knew that hearing loop systems help the hearing-impaired a lot, but I never witnessed the end result so directly before. Usually I test with facilities people. Here, I met with the seniors, illustrated the use of the system and saw their faces light up. They loved it! They could hear so much better and it is so easy to use for those who aren't tech-savvy. I won't forget their reactions and I know each future installation will have even more significance for me.
Catherine Shanahan, PresidentFusion Evangelical Church Lowell, MA
The Fusion Church project is close to my heart for personal as well as professional reasons. The project is located here in Lowell and is re-opening and revitalizing a church space that had been shuttered since 2004. My family and I attended many services at the former church before it closed. I appreciate the pastor's fresh and enthusiastic vision of what he can accomplish with his church and the sophisticated systems we have helped him put into place. The artist in me finds the rich tones and color palette selected for the sanctuary quite beautiful. Pastor Scott is committed to the city of Lowell and to his new neighborhood, and he is determined to reinvigorate this once-abandoned space.
once again leading a team of our strategic partners covering other aspects of the restoration such as lighting and draperies. Every church is different and every restoration project brings its unique challenges. Pastor Scott's grand vision for the space, his congregation's growth and what he hopes to accomplish within his community are both exciting and heartening.
Meghan Rooney, InternFirst Congregational ChurchWolfeboro, NH
I spent the summer of 2014 working at Shanahan. Wolfeboro's First Congregational Church was the first project in which I was involved that included integration of three different systems: audio, video and hearing loop. The project gave me the opportunity to see what Shanahan does from the ground up. It is a newly constructed church in a town I know very well. Wolfeboro is near and dear to my heart. My grandparents used to live in the area and every time we went to visit we went by the old church building.
I am not a technical person. My focus is on finance and administration. So, in discussions with the client I found it interesting that the church administration planned to actively promote their two new hearing systems. I never quite realized that a church must market itself or that these hearing loop systems would be such an important benefit to potential parishioners. The next time I'm in Wolfeboro, I will definitely stop by to see the new church and the new system in use!
Shaun Crossen, Sr. Systems ConsultantThe Verb Hotel, Fenway ParkBoston, MA
I have always been a fan of the 50s and 60s era, which is one reason the Verb Hotel project is my favorite of 2014. A development firm that previously has leveled older structures and replaced them with 60-story office buildings and mixed use complexes, chose to re-purpose a 1959 Howard Johnson facility with a theme that echoes the area's former rock club atmosphere. I have worked with this developer on prior projects. In this situation, the sound system had to be unobtrusive, blend with the period décor, and allow different music to be played in the various featured venues. The developers knew we would bring a fresh approach and apply our professional judgment to creating the right solution for each unique space. The project was a smashing success and made me realize once again just how important it is to listen to what the client is saying and may not be saying, and just how critical the understanding and translation of what is said is to the design of each project. Rock and Roll here we come!
Edy DaSilva, Sr. TechnicianEdith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans HospitalBedford, MA
On the first floor of the VA Hospital is a nondenominational chapel. Different religious denomination services are held here on a regular basis. Shanahan was contracted to completely upgrade the sound system. We worked with the different chaplains to ensure the system met everyone's requirements. A critical challenge was keeping the old system alive during this new installation so that daily services could continue. So we kept the old system going and decommissioned it the moment we commissioned the new system. Some other challenges involved the concrete floor, running the cables and wire mold the full extent of the room, plus ensuring the re-laying of carpet would not disturb the cable and wiring. I enjoyed providing them with a more advanced wireless audio system featuring video and internet streaming. I also appreciated being able to give them features they never expected, including PowerPoint with audio voice over video and the ability to list the names of fallen soldiers as part of the system's interactive component. It is an old chapel, with architecture I really like, and a new system that is helping some really nice people who are very happy with the results.
Josh Chapman, Operations CoordinatorTERCCambridge, MA
I like to think that we at Shanahan are resourceful and our project for TERC, a professional services organization for departments of education, gave us an opportunity to prove it. A new customer for Shanahan, TERC contracted with us to install AV systems for two conference rooms. My primary role in the project was to work closely with one of TERC's Project Analysts, Cara, to determine an efficient installation schedule. A very visible major component of the job was a large 80-inch display, increasingly popular and often back-ordered by the manufacturers. These notorious delays have run months in the past, with ever-changing availability dates; unfortunately the same happened with the TERC project. More than once during the planning and scheduling phase I had to make that very uncomfortable phone call about yet another delay in product availability. Cara alleviated a significant amount of stress by her understanding of unforeseen and unavoidable holdups.
TERC was a pleasure to work with from start to finish. Oh, and as far as that back-ordered display, with much tenacity I was able to scoop one earlier than anticipated, allowing us to complete the project ahead of schedule. Thank you, TERC. Definitely my favorite project of 2014.
Jim Berlo, Sr. Systems EngineerTemple IsaiahLexington, MA
Temple Isaiah posed various challenges. Their services had outgrown the antiquated distributed audio system and needed a complete upgrade. What was required in this space was a highly complicated, multi-zoned system with a focus on simplicity and flexibility of use. Moreover in this existing space, aesthetics in speaker placement was a top priority. In many cases, speakers are not required to be invisible, so I liked the added challenge in design and implementation. These requirements, combined with a limited budget, necessitated repurposing some equipment. The result was a highly tuned, workable system using 30% pre-existing equipment and 70% new equipment, including a method for upgrade as budget allows. As someone with a highly trained ear, the cantor was a pleasure to work with. She is knowledgeable, experienced and has perfect pitch. Her tuning requirements were very specific in addressing the varied music styles used. I take a lot of pride in the work that I do. Designing a system that makes the client both happy and successful in what they do is what I enjoy doing best.