Grand Avenue Baptist Church

September 18, 2011 marked the grand re-opening of the Grand Avenue Baptist Church sanctuary on the churches 77th birthday. A special audience was on hand that included politicians from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Washington, DC, for the re-dedication of this space.

Paragon 360™ was contracted as the church’s design-build partner in the summer of 2010. The demo of the space started May 9, 2011. Paragon 360™ was responsible for the complete re-design of the space which included a new modular stage, new audio systems, video, lighting, custom motorized rigging, house-lighting including the custom fabrication of 10 new chandeliers, acoustic treatment, design and construction of a new two level control booth and re-designed portable seating.

One of the most stunning elements of the space are the custom built 35’ I-Wall towers created by Paragon 360™ that house a versatile motorized scenic batten in addition to two smaller towers that hold the video screens. The stage is built completely from Paragon 360’s signature Modular Cube System allowing complete flexibility. This stage allows them to re-arrange the platform anytime, relocate floor pockets, HVAC vents, and cable port holes. The set is capped off with 10 custom chandeliers that contain house-lighting and a center decorative tube with LED interior lighting that allows the stage set look to be carried out into the room. The two-level control booth was also designed and created by Paragon 360™.

The audio system includes a new Avid Profile mixing system, along with Sennheiser 2000-series wireless microphones, and IEM. One of the main requests from the church staff was too showcase the church’s choir. Neumann TLM102 microphones were chosen for use in the choir with incredible results. The Tannoy speaker system includes VQ100 speakers for the main floor coverage and augmented with V-series for delays and under-balcony. Four of their dual-18” subwoofers were mounted together at the center of the sanctuary. Other upgrades included new processing and amplifiers from Electrovoice as well as all new cabling and Ace Backstage floor pockets.

The lighting system was designed leaving the house dimming system in place and adding additional dimming. Multiple lighting locations were created within the room with new circuit distribution throughout. The new lighting positions included 2 motorized trusses over the stage area that provided backlight that could be lowered for focus and maintenance. Over 75 new ETC fixtures were provided for stage lights in addition to 100 ETC Source Four Pars for house-lighting. 10 Chauvet 360Z wash units provided a moving light wash for the stage area. The elaborate stage sets were illuminated with over 40 Chauvet batten 72 units. The lighting system is driven by an ETC EOS console.

The video system was designed with flexible architecture in mind. The installed system provides a brilliant video experience capable of delivering today’s demanding high impact graphics. The system includes two HD Dalite projection screens built into our custom stage set as well as two 10K Christie projectors. Plasma screens mounted on the balcony face and stage floor give complete monitoring ability to the pastor, choir, and praise team. The system provides a presentation matrix switching system by Analog Way which allows for various sources to be sent to the main screens and to the monitoring displays such as DVD players, computers, live video, or other sources. In addition, to presentation graphics switching capabilities, a solid multi-camera production package for the church was designed to capture the worship experience. A Panasonic HPX-370 Studio configured floor camera with as well as two Panasonic HE-100 Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras were provided to capture the service. A Panasonic HS400 multi-format live video switcher mixes the HD cameras and graphics for broadcast superbly.

Acoustics played a major role in the sound of the room. Upon initial investigation, it was clear that the room had some undeniable acoustical flaws. Paragon 360™ designed the acoustic treatment to tackle pronounced high frequency flutter reflections that were gathering at the center downstage position and to control the overall tone of the room. Customized treatment was added to the side walls and balcony face as well as upper balcony back wall to eliminate direct reflections by diffusing as well as absorbing certain frequencies at the same time. This allowed the room to seem live, yet be very controlled and eliminate annoying flutter echoes and standing waves.

The church is now looking to create multi-site opportunities. Pastor Jeff Crawford remarked “this is a generational upgrade to our facilities that will pave the way for true cultural relevance as we seek to spread the Gospel.”

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