Ashly Revives Tornado-Torn Church and School

Joplin_StMarys_CatholicChurch_ExteriorTogether with the rest of the community, St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Elementary School in Joplin, Missouri has faced the difficult, but heartening, task of rebuilding after one of the worst tornados on record destroyed its buildings in 2011.

The church and school relocated southwest of the city, where it has more room to comfortably accommodate a larger congregation and a larger student body. Although unwelcomed, the school capitalized on the opportunity to build new infrastructure, including a multipurpose cafeteria with a flexible sound reinforcement system. A cost-effective, multi-channel Ashly Pema 4250.70 network Protea™ matrix processor combined with a four-channel amplifier delivers the flexibility that allows even non-technical staff to set the system up using Ashly neWR-5 remote controls.

David Walters, president and principal consultant at Diversified Design Group (Lincoln, Nebraska) designed the system for St. Mary’s Elementary School, and local A/V integration firm Total Electronics Contracting installed it. In all, 48 JBL Control 26-DT in-ceiling loudspeakers deliver sound to the cafeteria in three separate zones, strategically aligned to facilitate different uses. Inputs to the system include a CD player, a DVD player, three hardwired microphone jacks, and a Shure wireless microphone system. The system resides in a Middle Atlantic rack with Middle Atlantic power conditioning.

The backbone of the system is the Ashly Pema 4250.70, which provides a fully-functional 8×8 Protea™ matrix processor and a four-channel network amplifier that delivers 250 Watts per channel into each 70V zone, as well as all the processing necessary for customized user control. A handful of networked Ashly neWR-5 remote controls mounted with the equipment rack allow users to select inputs and adjust their volumes.

“The Ashly Pema’s simplicity is amazing,” said Nate Pugh, A/V Specialist at Total Electronics Contracting. “The Ashly Protea processing software was easy to program and will be easy to maintain, and it fits all of the system’s processing and amplification in just two rack spaces. The range of options is also impressive.”

“It was great to get the 70-volt option with the right power delivery and still have the 8×8 DSP up front” Pugh continues. “It’s an excellent, go-to product for installations like St. Mary’s. The fact that we could customize the neWR-5 remote controls cinched it. We were able to give them controls that anyone will be able to walk up to and use. Again, perfect for a situation like this.”