The Ballard Talisman

The auction-funded sound and visual system will enhance school-wide events

Zoe Bodovinitz, Staff Reporter

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Art by Zoe Bodovinitz

At this year’s school-wide auction, a large portion of the night was focused on raising money for a brand-new audio and visual system for the main gym. It will consist of better sound capabilities and two screens with projectors for both sides of the bleachers. Athletic Director Jason Thurston recognizes that this change will be beneficial for the student body.

“This will allow groups to use video in a variety of ways to help students really grab on to the message,” Thurston said in an e-mail response. “From fun things like Kahoot, to informative assemblies like MLK and Multicultural week–– all groups will be able to incorporate video in new and creative ways.”

The technology currently used in the gym is roughly 15 years old and, as anyone who has been to an assembly knows, needs to be replaced. In recent years, it’s been inconsistent and inadequate in keeping up with the noisiness of the growing population of the school.

“With the added capacity of students, that stresses all facilities and the gym is no different,” Thurston said. “When we have a packed house for a game or assembly, the current system just cannot get the volume we need in that environment.”

The funds for the system were primarily raised at the school’s auction. Just over $40,000 came in that night alone and with other pledges, the total amount set aside for this new addition to the gym comes to about $65,000. Principal Keven Wynkoop believes that this should cover everything they decide to install.

“A few years ago we did an estimate just because it was when I first brought it up, but that’s been awhile so we’re going to have to go through a whole process again,” Wynkoop said. “We anticipate we should have enough money to get what we need.”

The goal is to have the whole system set up before the start of next school year, but with the gym being used so often during the summer, that may not happen.

“I’m already starting to feel that with as busy as the gym is and the amount of time it takes to just get these kinds of things going, it might not be 100 percent done by the time school starts, but that’s still my hope,” Wynkoop said.

This change is a welcome one as it will open new doors for activities and school-wide events like assemblies, open houses, community events and more.

“Anytime you get a large student body like ours together, you want the event to be meaningful and exciting,” Thurston said. “The new system will allow us to convey information creatively and effectively.”

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The auction-funded sound and visual system will enhance school-wide events