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State of the Art Salvation Army Center Opens in Philadelphia

Worship center, pool and gymnasium present unique hurdles to electronics installation

McDonald's founders Ray and Joan Kroc were known for supporting a variety of charitable causes, and their legacy continues with a multi-billion dollar donation to the Salvation Army for the construction of several community centers in cities across America. The latest Kroc Center, recently opened in North Philadelphia, is one of the largest facilities of its kind on the East Coast. Its 130,000 square feet includes a world-class aquatics center, state-of-the-art fitness center, worship and performing arts facilities, café and culinary education center, as well as a wide range of programs for kids, adults and senior citizens.

Powerful sound was a big part of the plan for the facility, explains RTS Unified Communications' Joe Zamborsky. RTS specified a selection of Community Professional Loudspeakers for the project, including R-Series, WET-Series and CLOUD6 in-ceiling systems to cover the pool areas, worship center, fitness center gymnasium and numerous other areas.

"In any major project like this one, there are a number of challenges," says Zamborsky. Clearly, the project's tight six-month schedule was a demanding one, as was the need to be exceptionally flexible in the face of numerous logistical challenges. On more than one occasion, plans had to be altered due to unforeseen surprises during the construction process. "The number one most important thing is communication," he observes. "We maintained a daily, ongoing dialogue with everyone involved in the project, and that was key to our ability to keep things moving."

The Community loudspeakers fit the bill on multiple levels, says Zamborsky. "Particularly in the pool areas, which combined a tremendously reverberant environment with an exceptionally high humidity, the R-Series was the only choice. Not only do they look great, but they sound terrific."

The competition pool area offered up additional challenges as well. "Aside from having to cover the pool area itself, we were tasked with creating a separate system to cover the stands, which are tucked away in their own alcove," says Zamborsky. "We chose the Community WET Series to cover that area, because they provided both a tight, focused coverage pattern and a high degree of intelligibility."

Not surprisingly, the facility has been embraced by the local community. "This is a great place and a tremendous asset for the city of Philadelphia," says Zamborsky. "We're proud to have been a part of it, and proud to be able to deliver a great sounding environment for everyone using the facility."

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The latest Kroc Center, recently opened in North Philadelphia, is one of the largest facilities of its kind on the East Coast and includes a world-class aquatics center. RTS Unified Communications installed Community R-Series loudspeakers because they work well in pool areas, which combine a tremendously reverberant environment with an exceptionally high humidity.