With technology advancing apace and opening up endless new opportunities for the next generation, academic institutions are firmly focused on upgrading their capabilities in order to give students access to a full spectrum of learning opportunities.
Kingshott School – a leading independent school in Hertfordshire, UK founded in 1931 – is no exception. True to its mission of becoming a place where innovation goes hand-in-hand with tradition, the school secured a series of investments in order to develop its site, enabling it to meet the expectations of prospective pupils and their parents and maintain its standing as an exceptional learning provider.
Looking for a comprehensive but flexible AV solution for its newly constructed sports hall facility, which can be converted into a 450 seat performance venue, Kingshott sought the expertise of one of the UK’s leading specialists in the supply, installation and maintenance of AV and stage lighting solutions.
Prime Audio Visual & Lighting Solutions (Prime AVLS), in order to equip the space with full live sound, stage lighting, projection and back of house theatrical show relay systems. “We are always looking to give our students the very best chance of success in life through their education – and that means investing in innovative technologies so that they can keep pace with their peers in today’s dynamic world,” Jude Ilott, Bursar at Kingshott School, said of the £2.1 million project.
Reflecting on the brief received from the school, James Owen, Project Manager at Prime AVLS, said:
“The brief was emblematic of what we are seeing generally in the education space, with institutions looking to make sure they are at the cutting edge when it comes to their tech capabilities.”
“It allowed us to draw on our experience in designing bespoke systems across multiple sectors – from conference boardrooms to full sized theatre and live music venues. We were able to incorporate a number of key features in the design which allowed for easy switching between day to day use for assemblies or sports lessons to full scaled sound, lighting and projection for school productions, music concerts and presentation evenings which require a finer degree of control.”
Arguably at the centre of that cutting-edge AV set up is a Digital Projection M-Vision Laser 18K projector specified by Prime. Installed on the rear wall of the hall and fitted with an ultra-long throw zoom lens, Joe Dickens at Kingshott is thrilled with the unit.
“It consistently provides bright, crystal clear images regardless of light levels in the hall and is hugely versatile as it can be configured to project onto a dedicated 4m electric projection screen for assemblies or onto the 8m cyclorama when set up as a theatre.”
Of the M-Vision 18K, Mark Wadsworth at Digital Projection, added: “It is a powerful single chip DLP projector with an impressive 18,000 lumens output and 10,000:1 contrast ratio providing a competitive large-screen imaging solution. Essentially, it offers 3-Chip performance at a single-Chip price point, with no feature overlooked. Because it is maintenance-free, the cost of ownership is unbeatable, making it an attractive solution for an academic setting where budgets are often tight and under scrutiny.”
“The M-Vision Laser 18K was an obvious choice; we have used it successfully in other installations and it delivers unrivalled performance for the price.”
The broader AV set-up in which the M-Vision Laser 18K sits includes bespoke lighting trusses rigged with LED stage lighting complimented by additional storable light sources; a networked audio system for full flexible programming at the staff’s fingertips; and a CAT6 network infrastructure which allows connected source devises to be plugged into any of the data sockets located around the building, being patched into the projector via the control room.
CYP switcher/scalers were deployed in both a mobile rack and in the dedicated control room to handle the different resolutions and aspect rations. The system is fully controllable, with staff able to drop the screen, change inputs and power the projector on and off.
The multi-purpose space opened in time for the start of the 2018/2019 academic year and has already opened up the chance to deliver the curriculum in new and exciting ways. Kingshott’s Ilott concluded: “We are so pleased with the finished solution, which truly allows for every possible scenario for which we might want to use the space. In addition, the dedicated control room which we use for tuition and training allows us to extend the learning experience and encourages even greater student participation.”
“The team at Prime AVLS were superb, with every aspect of the project exceeding our expectations. In particular, the equipment specified delivers exceptional results whilst being sensitive to our sports programme which also runs in the building – more than meeting our objective of creating a truly outstanding, multi-purpose venue for our students to embrace learning in.”