Commission Chamber Technology

On May 20, 2014, the Augusta Commission held their first meeting in the new Commission Chambers located on the 2nd floor of the Augusta Municipal Building.  The Municipal Building is in the process of undergoing a $40 million renovation, and the new Commission Chamber is a significant milestone toward the completion of the project.

Please use the links on the left to see:
  • A live video feed of the Municipal Building renovation in progress!
  • On-Demand Video that is available for Augusta Commission Meetings. 
The appearance of the old chamber versus the new chamber is shown below:
Old Chamber and New Chamber Video

The major technological changes in the new chamber revolve around improved audio and video presentation, as described in the chart below.  Other changes that make the new chamber more a more suitable meeting venue are discussed as well.

Chamber Old  New 
Location  8th floor of Municipal Building 2nd floor of Municipal Building
Technology Suitability Technology was retro-fitted.  Wide room with short front-to-back distance and very little room for cameras. Designed with technology in mind.  Multiple conduits and channels for cabling, flexibility in placement of equipment, room for expansion as needed.
Audio Commissioner & staff microphones
Two speakers.
No change.  Original equipment was not technically obsolete so it was moved. 
Video Control Manual control by the single camera operator. A/V Room on 3rd floor (overlooking chamber)
Video Cameras 1 Analog Camera, set up prior to meetings, in a less-than-optimal location due to cabling and power constraints. 2 High-Definition Digital cameras permanently mounted in front and back of room so that commissioners, speakers/presenters, and meeting attendees can be seen.
Cabling Exposed cabling on floor in multiple locations. No exposed cables.
Streaming Video Meetings streamed live to internet. Meetings streamed live to internet.
Waiting Area(s) Committee Room & 8th floor hallway with audio only (no video). Committee Room with audio and video (via 72-inch LED flat screen) and two waiting areas adjacent to Commission Chamber (each with 60-inch LED flat screen TV) which show live meeting in progress.
Media Locations In doorways and corners where cameras can be located, often inhibiting passage by citizens or staff. Specific locations set up for camera placement that do not intrude on passage of citizens or staff.
Capacity Approximately 100 Approximately 200 (not including waiting areas)
Accessibility Difficulty in navigating walkways with a wheelchair.  Only one designated wheelchair location. Wide rows and multiple locations for wheelchair access.

The Audio/Visual Control Room
The new commission chamber is a great achievement, but one of the features that makes the chamber more technology-friendly is the inclusion of an audio-visual control room on the 3rd floor of the Municipal Building.  The A/V room overlooks the chamber from above and behind where the audience sits.  From the A/V Room, staff members can manage the following tasks and functions:

  • Control the lighting in the chamber
  • Internet video feed
  • Waiting and Conference Room video feed
  • Video and audio recording
  • Camera direction (via pan/tilt/zoom capability)
  • Sound (via Crestron panel)
Prior to the implementation of the new chamber, there was no A/V room and the ability to control sound was limited to a single knob located underneath the mayoral station in the center of the commission dais.