St. John’s Regional College, based in Dandenong, is a Catholic co-educational community. They aim to provide an environment where students are engaged, where students can achieve and where students are happy and feel like they belong. There’s a focus on active participation across the whole learning process. The college also recognises sporting and artistic achievements alongside more traditional academic excellence.
Upgrading a Theatre
St. John’s had recently renovated their existing theatre complex. However, their projector was nearly 10 years old and had stopped working and the audio system was also a long way out of date. They wanted to ensure that the space could be used by a wide variety of departments including the Music, Drama and Performing Arts. They’ve worked with DIB on projects in the past and that gave them confidence to approach DIB to make the best use of the space.
A balance needed to be struck between the use of the space for small classes and lectures and the need for occasional larger productions. The trick is to strike a balance between the day-to-day use and the more complex needs and ensure that budgets are respected without compromising functionality.
A full design process was called for. The various stakeholders of the space were identified and their needs for the use of the theatre acknowledged. Then a physical system was designed that could separate the components as needed.
Keeping the complex simple
The final system chosen includes some great complex components like an HD Epson EB-G5750WU projector, some Turbo Sound TC10 speakers and an XA1400 Australian Monitor amplifier. However, on the day to day front this is simple to use for teaching with a VGA and HDMI port for laptops kept in a floor box by the teacher’s location at the Lectrum L20S lectern. There’s a Blu-Ray player that can also be accessed simply. Users can access all common functions from one of two simple control panels.
The more complicated equipment associated with the bigger occasions is housed in a rack that’s locked away from the day-to-day users. These can all be powered on with the press of a button. There are all sorts of advanced audio controls (for a 16 channel digital mixer for example) and other video controls too; to keep this simple they are housed in a bio box where all the controls can be accessed through a mirrored interface of those in the rack.
A great example of simplicity can be found in the lectern where there’s a simple integrated loom and volume control for standard presentations. The microphone can be plugged into a floor box and there’s a simple volume control on the lectern so there’s no need for a lecturer to use the bio box and thus the bio box can be locked off. Then when the settings need adjustment an advanced user can access the bio box and set the controls themselves.
The school is really pleased with the solution which they say makes it simple for a teacher to walk in the room and just teach without having to master any system complexities.