(Feb. 19, 2021) Ocean City officials voted to spend $675,925 to upgrade a portion of the sound system at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center on 40th Street on Tuesday, after several clients of the facility complained that the equipment was outdated and incompatible with their equipment.

City Engineer Terry McGean said the equipment would be replaced in areas that have not been renovated as part of a three-phase expansion project that started in 2011. Specifically, the exhibit hall and all of the meeting rooms have speakers that no longer function, and issues with sound bleeding over between meeting rooms.

“That equipment no longer meets the needs of the wireless digital presentation media now used by our clients,” McGean said, adding that the lack of a fully functional audiovisual system is increasingly becoming an issue.

He asked the Maryland Stadium Authority to include the replacement of the existing audiovisual system, and the process has been completed with a total cost of $675,925.

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Terry McGean

McGean suggested the City Council use money from a convention center capital reserve fund with a balance of $1,254,293. He said for the past 25 years, both Ocean City and the Stadium Authority have contributed $50,000 into the account. Once the current expansion is complete, both entities will increase that amount to $100,000 per year.

“It’s terrible in there, so this has to be done if we’re going to do any business in the future,” Councilman John Gehrig said.

Once the work is finished, McGean said, the entire sound system throughout the building will be interconnected.

Councilman Lloyd Martin was absent when the board voted 6-0 in favor of the purchase.

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