noise problem in community room

I designed and built a 3800sqft community building in our town's park a few years ago. It consists of a storage garage, men's and women's restrooms, a kitchen and a 40' x 40' community room - all designed to look like an old train station. The community room is in constant use year round for park department functions, service organization meetings, Santa's House and is rented nearly every weekend for reunions, receptions, parties, etc. This space is roomy and well lit, has a massive stone fireplace with gas logs and the 10' ceilings rise from the middle of the room into a soaring 12/12 catherdral ceiling. The kitchen has a tambour serving door into the main room and the acid stained concrete slab is pretty much indestructible. Everything has worked out very well except for one very annoying flaw - the accoustics are awful. The sound bounces around that space making the din of a large group of people nearly unbearable. It is difficult to hear the speaker at even small meetings and when the kids are in there on rainy Park Program days the cacophony is incredible. I realize the easiest and cheapest solution would be to carpet this space, but with the heavy and often rough use it gets even the best carpet would soon be filthy and/or ruined. With the Town's limited budget, I've thought about Homasote sheets wrapped in burlap on the available wall space and I've looked online at manufactured accoustic panels. Anybody have any insight or great ideas about how to get a lot of bang for our buck with some basic sound deadening? Thanks.
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If you can't carpet the floor, carpet the walls. Tapestries have a great sound absorbing effect. You can use cheap area rugs.
Please, no dogs playing poker or Elvis on velvet.
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Look into Tectum.
You may be able to create a decorative band or framed "picture" type wall groupings. I did this to an Army Guard assembly area. Huge, hangar-type facility, cement floor, CMU walls, exposed high ceilinged deck all made for a space that made talking impossible. The architect/engineer designed a pattern of aluminum framed Tectum panels spaced evenly around the space. As I recall, the bottom of the 8 foot panels started about 8' off the floor on sidewalls over 20 ' tall. They were spaced about 6 feet apart. I was amazed at the difference the panels made
Tectum is made for sound attenuation. It is used in many gyms as the ceiling. Here is some information: http://www.tectum.com/interior.htm# You might look particularly at their Clouds and Baffles section. ______________________________ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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Thanks DanG
DanG wrote:

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monz wrote:

Sound absorbing batt insulation in the cathedral ceiling would help. Wood strips with screen between could cover the batts. TB
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Everything has

Hire a professional, at least for a plan. It will be money well spent. Otherwise, you could spend money on material that does not help. Also, the building itself is unique and an experienced person can design the most cost efficient solution.
Steve
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