DESCRIPTION OF CHALLENGE: When integrating technology and technology infrastructure into the construction and design of community centers and non-profits, few have the talent and vision to create functional, scalable, modular and visually appealing spaces. In the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County, NPCE was presented with a virtually blank slate and asked to design and construct a technology center and the supporting infrastructure that would not only appeal to youth of all ages, but would also provide the Boys & Girls Clubs with the versatility to grow and expand with ever changing technology needs.

RESULTS: At the very start of the project, the NPCE team provided its consulting services on the architecture of the building, reviewing blueprints and providing added engineering and technology expertise to the project. This upfront involvement helped to ensure the delivery of a scalable technology infrastructure for the Clubs while eliminating potential hidden costs of retrofitting technology into building design.

Once the physical walls to the building were up, the NPCE team added their touch by completing the networking cabling, running nearly 30,000 linear feet of audio/visual cabling throughout the building. No room went untouched as network drops and power were added to all rooms in the facility.

The next phase of the project included the configuration and installation of the network servers as well as individual workstations. Balancing affordability with functionality and fun, the team provided the Club with computers outfitted with the most up-to-date educational and creative software. To help extend the life cycle and reduce the maintain costs to individual workstations, additional security software and infrastructure was established.

In the teen center, the installation and configuration of a multimedia computer theater system (MCTS) was an eye-catching and functional addition to the room. The system integrates all the audio and video components that excite teens (7.1 digital surround sound, CD, DVD, television, karaoke, game systems, 10 digital projection screens and computers) into one easy to use system. The MCTS now serves as one of the most effective tools for recruiting and retaining teens in the Club programs.

Pulling all the aspects of the project together, the NPCE team delivered a facility where technology was seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the organization’s mission and vision. The completed project included:

  • A 15 station technology center, complete with music and video recording stations and a projection and audio system
  • A teens only cyber café
  • A multimedia computer theater system
  • Connectivity both wireless and hard-wired in all areas of the Club
  • A stable, reliable client server environment with automated maintenance procedures
  • Remote access for staff to organizational systems

Overall, the project represents the diversity and range of skills that the NPCE team provides to all of its clients. The key to the success of this project was our ability to deliver technology sound solutions that truly capture the nature of the work our clients do. Our full scale technology integration for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County provided our clients with the opportunity to use technology to its fullest potential to help them achieve their goals. As a result of the integration, teen registration and involvement in Club programs has increased dramatically, the Club has increased its partnerships with other local community providers to deliver high-quality technology programs for youth and teens, and Club staff have embraced technology to help them increase their overall daily efficiency. Reporting procedures take less time, communication is more efficient and Club staff can easily and effectively access the resources they need to successfully do their jobs.