Modern courthouses are changing as judicial facilities continue to embrace impressive architectural features while incorporating welcoming, yet secure, design and cutting edge technology. A perfect example is the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse, located in Long Beach, California which embarked on an ambitious construction project to create a safe facility that improved proceedings and better served the community.
Notorious for its long lines, overcrowded waiting rooms, and general inefficiencies, the 55-year-old facility was considered one of the most outdated and unsafe judicial facilities in the country. In addition to being rundown, there were concerns ranging from seismic safety to faulty escalators. Given the building’s space limitations, inmates often crossed paths with case judges in public hallways - causing additional safety concerns. The State of California worked with the private consortium – Long Beach Judicial Partners LLC - to build and manage the facilities for this first-of-its-kind project. The result is an entirely new facility that meets the needs of the Long Beach community, as well as providing a judicial center serving the 5,000 people who use the courthouse every day.
“The city of Long Beach was in dire need of a new courthouse that would use best-ofclass technology, forward-thinking design concepts, and eye-catching materials to create a modernized environment that both served the needs of the justice system and the citizens of California,” said Frank Vass, Manager of Engineering for ExhibitOne Corporation, the system integrator responsible for this project. “This meant rethinking the entire space, from the traffic flow of citizens waiting to appear in court to ensuring that side-by-side courtrooms were sufficiently sequestered in order to maintain the environment required during court proceedings.”
With many new design materials making their way into contemporary construction projects, ensuring flawless AV delivery meant creating an audio solution that addressed the complexities resulting from spaces of varying size, configuration and use. Within the new $347 million Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse, ExhibitOne needed to ensure that every audio and video system implemented across the 531,000-square-foot building would produce the results required for a zero-failure installation. This meant selecting missioncritical systems and components for use across 31 courtrooms, the facility’s jury assembly space, and for the courtroom’s audio/video equipment room. Furthermore, the courthouse required portable videoconferencing capabilities in order to rapidly facilitate offsite visual communications, plus the ability to extend paging across the entire building when needed.
To ensure robust audio capabilities across the building, ExhibitOne turned to Biamp Systems’ portfolio of digital signal processing (DSP)-based commercial audio solutions. Using a combination of the company’s award-winning Tesira® and Audia® digital audio platforms, the integrator was able to successfully provide high-quality audio capabilities to a variety of areas, from judicial conference rooms to the jury assembly room and more.
“The sheer size of the courthouse’s audio system made it an extremely unique installation,” shared Vass. “We needed a system that could provide reliable audio data delivery - even in an overflow capacity - while respecting the acoustics of the design materials installed throughout the building. We knew from experience that Biamp equipment could easily handle the scope and customization levels that we required. The flexibility, power, and reliability of the Tesira-Audia combined solution allowed us to satisfy each technical requirement, while giving us the ability to adjust the system easily as changes to the system requirements came up. The Biamp sales and support staff were instrumental in completing this massive project on time - I applaud the incredible dedication they have for their partnerships.”