Texas firm interested in arts center

15 years ago

ImageHoulton Pioneer Times Photo/Karen Donato
STATE-OF-THE-ART MATERIAL — Jon Ross, left, owner of Ross Sheet Metal and employee, Matthew Donahue, back right are installing a microbe-resistant foam liner with high acoustic qualities in the ductwork at the new Community Arts Center at Houlton High School.  Marketing Manager for Evonik Foams Company of Texas, Stephanie Ayers met with Joe Fagnant, arts center chairman, back left, to view the project and assist them with any concerns.

By Karen Donato
Staff Writer

    The multi-million dollar Houlton Community Arts Center project that started with an idea in 2002 has branched out to the Southwest. The first phase under way at the present time is using a state-of-the-art material to line the hundreds of feet of ductwork. This foam insulation has excellent sound absorption properties. It is coated with an acrylic polymer that also acts as a protective barrier against dust and moisture. It also allows fiber-free air to flow throughout the facility for both heating and cooling.
    Evonik Foams Company of Allen, Texas is the distributor for this acoustic liner used in the HVAC ductwork throughout the auditorium, cafeteria and kitchen area and will also be installed as the expansion progresses in the future.
    International Harvester originally developed this high performance polyimide foam product in the early 1970s. NASA now uses it in the space program.
    Houlton’s project is the first to use this type of foam liner in Maine. Ben Markham, an acoustician with the Acentech Acoustical Consultants firm in Boston recommended this microbe-resistant material to the arts committee and the services of the Texas firm were enlisted.
    Stephanie Ayers, marketing manager for Evonik Foams made her first trip from Texas to Maine to see the project and to meet Jon Ross, owner of Ross Sheet Metal in Houlton, the company that is installing the liner and the ductwork.
    Houlton High School band director and project chairman, Joe Fagnant and Ross showed Ayers around the work site last Thursday. She was able to see the lined ductwork already installed and the ductwork in progress. She was very complimentary of the workmanship that had been done. She pointed out how meticulous the work of Ross and his employee, Matthew Donahue was compared to other job sites she had visited.
    Ayers said, “This foam product has been highly used throughout the United States in theatres, auditoriums, schools, medical facilities, libraries and media centers. It has high acoustic value and will last indefinitely.”
    Even though the material is a considerable investment, the long-term and high quality will pay off.    The first phase under way now, is tentatively scheduled to be completed by the first of November. This phase includes the main auditorium, hallway adjacent to the gymnasium, updated cafeteria and kitchen, new rear entrance and vestibule, ticket booth, all lighting, HVAC and sprinkler system.