The Detroit Science Center, founded by Detroit businessman and philanthropist Dexter Ferry nearly 30 years ago, was among the first centers for scientific exploration and learning in the country to include an IMAX Dome Theatre. An exhibit floor program plan encourages hands-on interaction, exploration and study of science and technology. Plans to transform the Science Center into a leading center for science education began in late 1998. In December, 1999, ground was broken on a $30 million expansion and renovation.
In March 2001, Advanced Lighting & Sound (ALS) of Troy, Michigan was asked to design and install the audio systems within the Center. The Center wanted to have independent sound systems, with the ability to tie all systems into one main system when necessary. Their requirements for audio within the Center consisted of one main demonstration area, the Science Stage, and five (5) satellite areas (the Sparks Theatre, IMAX Theatre, Motion Lab, the Matter Energy Lab, and the Hut).
Committed to following the American with Disabilities Act guidelines, the Detroit Science Center wanted an auditory assistance system capable of serving four percent of their total capacity. ALS choose to use ListenÆ products. “We wanted to use the Listen system because it offers a single tunable receiver with multi-channel capabilities and rechargeable batteries,” said Greg Koss, Advanced Light & Sound System Integrator. “This means a visitor can tune into each individual exhibit as they pass by it just by pressing one of the presets.”
Each of the five presentation areas was configured with an appropriate sound system which included a wireless Listen system. With each transmitter rack mounted and remote antennas placed on the top of each rack, the system was able to deliver the needed assistance for ADA compliance. The Listen transmitters were set up so that from the master control area, all transmitters could be tied into a single system with the throw of a single switch.
ALS later installed a sixth transmitter in the Science Center’s Planetarium.