Milwuakee School of Engineering - Kern Center
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Kern Center is a 210,000-square-foot recreation and athletic facility that opened in October, 2004. It is the first such facility for the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and it is itself an engineering showcase.

Lewis Sound & Video installed audio systems in the center's new 1600-seat below-grade ice arena, fitness center and 1200-seat basketball and volleyball gym.

The ice arena includes:

  • 18 two-way EAW speakers pointed at current and planned seating areas. We also installed down-firing speakers over the ice.
  • A digital signal processor for sound optimization plus mixing of inputs from wireless mics and music sources
  • A Crestron control system to make it easy for users to choose pre-configured room setups and control volume levels. We programmed presets for hockey and figure skating applications and different audience sizes. Once a year the school also uses the arena for graduation ceremonies (with seating in the ice area) and we set up a preset for that application as well.

We configured the basketball/volleyball gym in a very similar fashion, with two-way and down-firing speakers, wireless mics, DSP and Crestron controls with a number of preset system configurations.

We set up the fitness area primarily for background music, though we included a wireless mic system for instruction, announcements and competitions. Programmed presets optimize the sound for each application.

The center has won several design awards, including the Innovative Architecture and Design Award from Recreation Management Magazine.

Learn more about AV systems for Athletics

We kept speakers close to the audience to minimize reverb despite the arena's hard surfaces.

The same is true in the basketball gym, with seating for 1200.

We hung full-range speakers from the ceiling, carefully aiming them at seating areas.

The fitness center is zoned to allow background music level adjustments in each area.

The facility features a two and a half story fitness center.

Students work out on the cardio platform above the weight room.


Down-firing speakers in the fitness center ceiling provide even, pleasing sound.

The unique elliptical-faced building has won several design awards.

The ice arena, built 40' below grade, includes a sound system installed and tuned by Lewis Sound.

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Lewis Sound & Video specializes in sound system design, audiovisual integration, multimedia technology,
EASE modeling, AV consulting, maintenance and service for corporate, education, training and communication systems.
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