Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) opened in 1963 as Ohio’s first community college, and remains that state’s oldest and largest public community college. The college provides education programs to more than 800,000 members of the Cleveland community.
Tri-C’s Recording Arts and Technology program trains students for positions in the highly competitive audio industry. The program specializes in preparing students for many audio disciplines, including recording and mixing, location sound, commercial production, audio for video, internet audio, music production, live sound reinforcement and the entertainment business. In addition to providing internship opportunities, Tri-C is highly successful in placing its students with local and national employers. In addition to its Recording and Arts Technology program, Tri-C also features showcases and performances from well known classical, jazz and other contemporary artists at its Performing Arts Center.
Cuyahoga approached WSDG to design and construct several acoustic environments within its central Cleveland campus. The rooms, which would be designed and built from the ground up, consisted primarily of recording and post production rooms as well as multiple edit suites. WSDG would ultimately design and build 30 rooms, which would be used primarily for student applications, in a multi-story complex.
The facility included a variety of different spaces across four floors–some to be used for recording, others for performance, and others for editing. A large, centralized recording space with two isolation booths was located on the first floor. This was at the heart of the design, where students could work collectively on recording and mix projects. The second floor featured a black box practice & performance space and offices. The third floor contained several student editing suites (each of them tied together), and the fourth floor featured a second large production studio. The spaces were designed in a way that ensured seamless connectivity and ease of passage through the facility.
Since the technical spaces were essentially stacked on each other in a vertical arrangement, one of the biggest challenges was to ensure isolation throughout the facility. Cuyahoga is located in an urban environment, therefore it was imperative to keep external noise from permeating the technical rooms. Internally, WSDG minimized noise transfer among floors by providing isolation reinforcement on the ceilings, particularly on the ‘back box.’ WSDG customized many of the acoustic treatments found throughout the facility, to maximize both performance and affordability.