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Rebuilding Cross Point

Rebuilding Cross Point

Rebuilding Cross Point

Following a devastating tornado, CTS AVL has helped Cross Point Church rebuild after the building sustained significant damage in the storm

In 2019, Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee, embarked on an upgrade for its presentation and broadcast video systems at its downtown campus, and approached creative event technology company CTS AVL to carry out the project. After working through design concepts and meeting with manufacturers at several tradeshows to evaluate new equipment, a final design and logistical plan for the church was taking shape.

However, on 2 March 2020, a series of tornados tore through central Tennessee, destroying property, taking lives and devastating communities. The Cross Point building was one of many impacted by the storms.

Cross Point’s main campus sustained significant damage during the storms. The tornados had torn off large portions of the roof, knocked out entire sections of the building and the large sign bearing the church’s name (that had become a landmark for many in Nashville) was destroyed. The portions of the building that were left standing experienced extensive wind and water damage. Rooms where walls remained intact either had standing water throughout or a thick layer of dirt and debris, almost as if the building had been abandoned years before.

What had begun as a system upgrade turned into a full facility rebuild. And to complicate matters further, the global pandemic hit in full force just weeks after the tornados.

The priority after the storms was to first ensure that families were safe. Cross Point began mobilising community support groups to help those in areas that needed it. Soon thereafter, the church staff checked in on their multiple campuses to determine what challenges the storms had created.

“We knew the church had been directly impacted and, because of our existing relationship with Cross Point, we immediately connected with them and offered to help in any way we could,” explains Neal Watson, vice president of integration sales and design at CTS AVL. “Because CTS is both an AVL integration and live production company, we knew there was something we could do to support them.”

Cross Point expressed a desire to continue offering church services for spiritual support on top of its other efforts to care for congregants and the entire church community. To support the church in this endeavour, CTS brought in its live events team to provide production assistance. The church was able to secure Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena as a venue to host services the Sunday following the storms and the CTS production team was able to provide systems for this service within the week.

Almost as quickly as these short-term plans were established, Covid-19 restrictions were enforced. Cross Point was then faced with a new set of challenges, complications and decisions.

“The church was not new to broadcasting services, but this became more convoluted since the majority of their equipment had been destroyed or compromised,” adds Watson. “The media team worked incredibly hard to keep online content running during unquestionably difficult times. In addition, CTS helped get the church up and running with their broadcast stream.”

As many churches did during early lockdowns, Cross Point began filming worship services and teaching content at pastors’ homes and other remote locations. The church would then edit the content and publish it for the congregation to view online. As restrictions lifted, Cross Point was able to begin combining livestreamed content with pre-captured content.

While all of this was taking place, the church began evaluating the building damage and planning for facility recovery. “Cross Point brought us in to assist with damage assessment; more specifically, they tasked us with leading the AVL systems evaluation and coordinating with the church on the insurance reporting since we had experience in those areas. We also began to work in a design-build capacity for the recovery and rebuild plan,” describes Watson.

As the pandemic restrictions eased and in-person meetings resumed, CTS continued to work with Cross Point on its temporary solutions. Most of the building remained unusable, but the general contractor was able to get the worship centre cleared for temporary occupancy, despite no new systems installed and only partially functioning equipment remaining. At that point, the CTS production team was able to supply lighting, LED walls and infrastructure rentals to support Cross Point’s return to services at home, even while construction continued throughout the facility.

“A recovery and rebuild project of this nature is always going to prove challenging,” continues Watson. “Locally, the church had to deal with the fact that they were one of thousands impacted by this event, which inevitably led to long delays, slow response times from insurance providers and a shortage of construction crews due to the massive rebuild efforts across the state.”

Additionally, the congregation and staff were displaced from the facility. Cross Point had been holding weekly services in the building, so they needed to ensure that the facility was clean, safe and functional for Sunday services while heavy construction was going on.

Furthermore, there were logistical complications that came with the pandemic, including government restrictions and global supply chain issues. By the time everything was finalised – including the insurance approval process, designs and budgets – the world was experiencing the issue of technology and material shortages. This led to a much longer construction timeline than anyone could have imagined.

“In a construction process such as this, it is most efficient to have concentrated periods of installation work onsite,” explains Watson. “However, due to the supply chain issues, we knew this was not going to be possible without making the church wait an inordinate amount of time to benefit from the new systems. In order to address this as efficiently as possible, our team worked with the Cross Point staff to strategically deploy and install new systems in segments. By doing this, we were able to provide the new equipment as the material became available and site preparedness was aligned.”

While CTS has provided support throughout the facility, the focus for the majority of the video and lighting equipment has been in the church’s worship centre. For visuals, CTS specified a 9m x 3m (WxH) InfiLED 3.9mm pixel pitch LED wall with two Novastar MCTRL660Pro processors and two Barco ImagePro 4K scalers, backed up by a Ross Video Xpression Tessera One graphics generation system and Tria Express Duet video production server.

For broadcasting, the setup includes three Panasonic Varicam 35LT and two EVA1 cinema cameras, fitted with Canon Cine-Servo lenses, along with two Panasonic HRP100GJ and two Skaarhoj RCP v2 networked camera control units. From Ross Video, CTS selected TD2S and TD1 TouchDrive switcher panels, an Ultrix router with Ultriscape multiviewers, plus remote panels and various conversion and distribution cards. The broadcast setup is supported by two Teradek Bolt 4K LT Deluxe wireless transmitters, three Atomos Shogun7 viewfinders, an Adder Technology KVM system, three AJA Ki Pro Ultra 12G recorders and a Tektronix WFM5200 waveform monitor.

Key lighting is provided by 23 Chauvet Ovation ellipsoidals and six Rogue R2X washes, with back lighting covered by an additional 14 Rogue R2X units. Effects are catered for by 10 Chauvet Maverick Force 1 spots, eight Rogue R1X washes, 16 Elation Chorus Line 16s and an MDG Atmosphere ATMe hazer. The lighting setup is tied together by an MA Lighting grandMA3 console.

However, the length and complexity of this project caused many ups and downs. Often with projects like this one, there are changes to operational processes, staff and technology. Throughout these changes at Cross Point, CTS has stayed close with the staff to adjust according to its needs.

“Unique circumstances like this one highlight the reason CTS places such a high value on client relationships,” adds Watson. “A client we respected and cared about found themselves in back-to-back catastrophes, needing resources and support. Because of that relationship, we could offer immediate help in the short term, meet daily and weekly needs, and offer mid-term and long-term support.

“This is why we do what we do. It’s how we believe a relationship-oriented company should operate when it comes to the well-being of its clients. We’re there to offer help in our clients’ times of need because of the expertise we’ve cultivated and the passion and commitment we have for serving our clients.”

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