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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recommendations Submitted For Noise Reduction At Armory

The long-awaited sound study performed at the Arts at the Armory building has been released after numerous complaints from neighbors and abutters regarding high noise levels during performances at the Highland Avenue establishment.

David Coate, of David Coate Consulting, made several recommendations to the Armory board of directors in an 8 page report including adding ¼” laminated glass over existing glass and sealing off window edges to prevent air gaps with concrete grout to improve sound isolation. By properly sealing, neighbors in direct line of the windows will see a drastic improvement in noise reduction.

Some neighbors, however, line directly with the roof of the building which Coate recommended removing some of the recently sprayed foam and adding an additional 5/8” GWB (sound isolating boards). Before this is done, however, studies should be conducted after the windows are treated as this alone could cut noise enough to appease neighbors and abutters.

The sound study was not the only item that Armory representatives had to respond to. Recent complaints about cars parked in fire lanes, as well as noise after performances had completed were presented. New building signs, street painting, as well increased patrols with the Somerville Police Department were touted as part of the Armory’s effort to improve relations with neighbors.

During the duration of the report analysis, Armory events continued, but did include detail police officers (and firefighters when needed). Officers took up to three decibel readings at various concerts (rock and classical) that only topped off at 55 (70+ for a consistent ten minutes is considered a noise violation). Acting Chief Michael Cabral noted that no complaints about the Armory have been received since February of 2010 and that numerous officers have been trained in properly using the decibel readers. He did point out, though, that parking continues to be a problem that the Somerville Police Department and Armory Officials are working on.

Armory owners are now responsible for submitting a timeline as to when the recommended changes are going to be implemented pending meetings with a contractor hired to do the work.

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