Electro‑Voice audio meets Friday night lights at New Caney ISD, Texas

December 5, 2015
  • Southwest Building Systems achieves full stadium coverage with single XLD281 line array system and EVF subwoofers from Electro-Voice
  • Weatherized speaker enclosures add durability to sound quality
  • Sound system part of AV system installation including the largest real-time video screen and scoreboard of any high school in the state
When the New Caney ISD in suburban Houston built a new football stadium, they were determined to create among the very best fan experiences in Texas. To achieve that, the facility features the largest real-time video screen and scoreboard of any high school in the state. The structure supports an Electro-Voice (EV) PA system that covers the full 8,500-seat stadium with a single line array.

The stunning display at the new stadium is from leading manufacturer NEVCO, who understand that high-quality sound is an essential element of the scoreboard experience they provide. With that in mind, systems integrator Southwest Building Systems (SBS) of nearby Silsbee, Texas has worked on more than a dozen similar installations using a combination of NEVCO displays and EV sound reinforcement.

“New Caney High School is among the largest, best‑sounding audio‑video installations at any Texas high school stadium.”

For this project, SBS designed and installed a complementary sound system that would cover the stadium, along with an indoor fieldhouse located off the opposite end zone. Brent Thornhill, manager of the SBS sound and communications division, chose EV audio throughout the facility, highlighted by a weatherized XLD line array system.

“People are amazed, but the EV XLD system really has no trouble covering all the bleachers on both sides of the field with a single line array,” says Thornhill. “It has plenty of power, so throw distance isn’t really an issue, and the intelligibility is outstanding.”

The line array consists of 11 tri-amped XLD281-FGB loudspeakers flown off one side of the video display structure, covering both sides of the stadium with their 120-degree dispersion pattern. Directly beneath the line array is a complementary stack of five dual 15-inch subwoofers, model EVF-2151D-FGB. All the outdoor speakers are fully weatherized, with a custom fiberglass coating on all surfaces, stainless steel grilles backed with a hydrophobic layer and moisture resistant input panel covers. The entire system is EV, powered by seven TG7 amplifiers, with signal processing via a NetMax N8000 system controller.

In the press box, the stadium announcer uses an EV PC Desktop gooseneck microphone, while the referee is outfitted with an EV RE2 Pro bodypack wireless. An RE2 Pro handheld wireless is available for additional announcing duties as needed.

Housing the locker rooms, training rooms, a community room and conference rooms, the fieldhouse required a separate AV system. For the audio, SBS selected EV‘s EVID ceiling-mounted speakers, using a combination of EVID C8.2 and C4.2 primary speakers with EVID C10.1 subwoofers. Like the outdoor system, power and control are provided by EV TG7 amplifiers and a second NetMax N8000, enabling all the audio to be networked together and controlled in zones.

“That allows both the audio and video feeds throughout the stadium to be controlled from a single remote panel,” explains Thornhill. “The video feed might be a live student broadcast during a football game, or they can also show other video sources or cable channels as needed, like for events in the conference rooms. Having all the audio networked together through NetMax made it really easy to implement.”

Michael Elkins, Audio-Visual Coordinator for New Caney ISD, worked with both Southwest Building Systems and Texas Scoreboard Services to oversee the entire installation. “We are very pleased with the sound systems, both in the stadium and in the fieldhouse,” he reports. “The audio performance is above and beyond our expectations.”

Brent Thornhill of Southwest Building Systems feels the New Caney High School football stadium succeeds in delivering an outstanding fan experience, one that sets a new standard of excellence. “We’ve done a lot of high school football installations,” he says, “so I know for a fact that New Caney High School is among the largest, best-sounding audio-video installations at any Texas high school stadium.”

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