With its long lines and crowded waiting rooms, Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse in Long Beach, California, was known for inefficiency. In addition, the structure was deemed unsafe due to faulty equipment and lack of proper earthquake protection. After operating for more than 50 years, the facility was in need of an upgrade in order to keep pace with a growing population, advances in technology, new seismic regulations, and shifting judicial needs.
Most courthouses, whether protected by the National Register of Historic Places or built last year, adhere to certain classic aesthetics. While this architectural standard showcases the rich history of the U.S. judicial system, the room layouts and building materials can present significant challenges when it comes to AV. In addition, even the most skilled architects and interior designers do not typically consider audio when developing a space.
The City of Long Beach recognized the need for a new courthouse that could support the latest technology and forward-thinking design concepts in a modern and attractive structure. To upgrade the courthouse, the State of California collaborated with Long Beach Judicial Partners LLC. Together, they designed an entirely new facility capable of serving the 5,000 people who visit the courthouse each day.
To meet the courthouse’s need for robust audio capabilities, system integrator ExhibitOne chose Biamp’s portfolio of DSP-based commercial audio solutions. Using a combination of our Tesira and Audia digital audio platforms, the integrator provided high-quality audio to areas throughout the 531,000-square-foot structure, from the large jury assembly area to the 31 courtrooms to the small judicial conference rooms.
The sheer size of the courthouse’s audio system made it a unique installation. Reliable audio was imperative, but the audio system had to accommodate the acoustics of the design materials used throughout the various spaces. The courthouse also required portable videoconferencing capabilities to facilitate offsite visual communications, as well as the ability to extend paging throughout the building when needed. A Tesira SERVER-IO was the backbone for each courtroom’s audio system, while AudiaEXPI/O-2 devices provided staff members with the ability to interconnect with four portable teleconferencing carts. To satisfy paging requirements in the jury assembly room, an NSP-1 was installed. Not only is Tesira able to accommodate three different protocols (AVB, CobraNet, Dante) within a single chassis, it also offers significant flexibility while supporting future expansion.
When it opened in September 2013, Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse became the first new major courthouse built in California in more than four decades. With its glass-encased atrium, outdoor courtyard, and spacious design, the facility earned the distinction of Los Angeles Building Journal Commercial Real Estate Project of the year in 2014. The system’s reliability and sound quality have remained impeccable, and feedback from courthouse officials and employees has been overwhelmingly positive.