Great Room Donation Needs for 2021

We’re in the fourth calendar year of our existence, and we still have a few items left to “finish” our Great Room space and equipment needs. It seemed useful to post a list here so that donors who are wanting to get involved can see how they can help. Just to put it in perspective, the list below totals at just over $10,500.

This is the model of (used) “mini-grand” digital piano we hope to acquire. It’s a Roland KR-977.

Our less-than-idea piano keyboard has died, leaving us in the lurch with an even-less-sufficient keyboard. What we really need is a digital mini-grand piano (since an acoustic piano couldn’t survive in the hot/cold cycle in our current space.) We could buy a new mini-grand for about $6,000 plus shipping, but there’s currently a very good used one for sale just four hours away for $3,200, plus about $150 gas money for the trip.

We could make good use of up to three PC computers, running Windows 2010 or later. We need one for lighting controls, one for audio/video, and one for livestreaming on social media. We had personally used a donated machine, and now we have to bring in our own machines everytime we come—but as we get more sophisticated, our own machines aren’t enough anymore. We don’t need fancy ones, so most any computer (that’s running well) will do. Chances are very good, then, that donated used machines would suit us very well.

We’ve just received a generous donation for $500, and plan to put it toward the purchase of nine seminar tables (8′ x 18″) so that we can begin to offer paid seminars in the Great Room. The total cost of the nine tables we need, plus shipping, is $720. So that leaves us only $220 shy!

RADIANT TUBE HEATER — $1,500 – $2,000
The Great Room is a converted warehouse space, with a natural-gas box heater that hangs from the ceiling. It makes so much noise when it’s on that it wrecks the acoustics in the room, and ruins not only our concerts, but even regular class meetings and rehearsals. We’ve done so much to improve the acoustics already that the heater is now the primary target in going to the next level. After studying the issue for some time, we’re convinced that a radiant tube heater is the best solution, and we estimate the cost of having a new one installed to be at $1,500–$2,000.

We’ve been working toward moving all the controls for our lighting and sound equipment to the back of the hall, and currently have a temporary table set up on the floor level. But the goal all along has been to build an elevated deck, eight feet up, to house all the equipment, to give the technical crew an unobstructed view, and to maximize the floor space below to increase audience space. Our plans call for an 8’x12′ deck, 8′ up, with a ladder-style access. It would also have some enclosed storage space below for our new seminar tables and for excess classroom chairs. The remainder of the underside would house our existing restaurant booth. We estimated this project in Spring of 2020 for about $1,800, but with lumber prices up, we expect it to run somewhere between $2,000 and $2,500. We’d do the labor ourselves—unless somebody wants to donate that, too!

PAINTING — $200 – $500
We’ve done a LOT of painting, but we still have a little more left. We still have half the ceiling to paint flat black. And we’re going to change the West wall from green to blue, and the North wall from green to red. Further, we want to strip the earlier painting attempt from the concrete floor and try again, starting with acid etching and an industrial grade epoxy coating. We’re prepared to supply the labor, but would be happy to have someone else supply that, too!

For our new control booth, we need a new sound mixer and amp. (See just below for the amp.) The mixer has the features we need and is a cost-effective industry standard. Mackie Mixer.

1000-WATT POWER AMP — $140
We’re currently using an 8-channel powered mixer, which we’d like to move to the stage to power monitor speakers there. And this means we’ll need a new (or used) power amp up in the new sound booth. There are lots of suitable amps out there. Here’s an example that would suit us just fine. Rockvale Amp.

We’ve just completed some big improvements to our stage, and we need to bring it to completion by adding one more 16″-tall trapezoidal section (4′ x 12′) to the front/center. This will make it possible to do the piano recitals we’re so excited about, and it will further facilitate both our Skits and Choral programs. Further, we need to build two small portable steps for entering the stage from the front side, as well as three 96″x 18″ x 8″ box risers to sit atop our existing stage for back-row choir elevations. Depending on the cost of lumber this could all be done for under $500, we estimate.

We’re currently using a mixture of 16 digital (LED) DMX-controlled stage lights and 10 standard LED floodlight bulbs (in clamp lamps). We’d like to complete our capabilities by replacing the floodlights with another 16 DMX instruments. They sell in 4-packs for just under $90 per pack.

While there are limitless specialty lighting devices we could use here and there, one standard device we don’t have is a follow spot, such as is used to track a performer moving across the stage. The one we want has multiple colors and is DMX compatible, so that it will work with the rest of our professional lighting system.