Renovations under way for Baxter City Hall chambers
BAXTER — Renovations to the Baxter City Council chambers are aimed at improving sound and upgrading
technology for presentations.
A ceiling-mounted projector and smart podium will get rid of the large cart, which is normally sitting between residents seated in the gallery and the council. Administrator Gordon Heitke said the cart and projector has been a visual obstruction.
Up to this point presenters, whether they were staff or audience members or visiting dignitaries, normally have their backs to the audience. With the changes, presenters will face both the audience and the council and a smart podium will allow them to share their documents via the projector so the images are visible to everyone via the wall screen. Heitke said the images will have a much higher resolution for better viewing.
Gone are the massive blue drapes, which were there, to varying degrees of success, to benefit acoustics. The council chamber can be a challenging place to hear council discussions, especially if council members are not sitting back from the table and not speaking directly into microphones.
An upgrade to the sound system is expected to make the microphones work better with the existing speakers. With the drapes gone, acoustical panels may be added.
Other changes put in a fresh coat of paint, new carpeting and new chairs are coming for the public seating area to replace the hard white plastic versions. Public seating should be increased with the projector change and by cutting back the raised platform where the council and staff members sit.