New Digital Academy Goes Live

APi is proud to be the sole audio visual contractor for this project which involved designing and fitting out an entire new build primary academy. West Clyst School has been built just outside Exeter in a large area of new housing development. With a nursery and two classes per year this is quite a substantial school to meet the growing local need.

APi has been the main AV contractor for Broadclyst Primary School (one might say the ‘parent’ school of the academy group) for many years and so was the natural choice for this project. Continuing in the vein of its highly multimedia rich forerunner, West Clyst has been designed from the ground up to give this same level of teaching experience to its new pupils. 

Just walking down the corridors you are aware of the impact of digital on the building.  Each classroom has a 22’’ digital signage display at the door showing who the teacher is, samples of the children’s work and reminders to parents.  Inside both a 65’’and 55”’Philips professional display screen, combined with a digital matrix switcher allows for two separate teaching spaces. Sources available include desk top visualiser, Microsoft surface PC via a wireless collaboration link and a desktop PC. The sound system is full Dolby Digital surround and there is also an infra red soundfield system allowing the children to hear their teacher without them having to raise their voice (most of the time!).

Bringing this all together is a simple touch screen control system allowing all of the av switching to be condensed into simple intuitive button presses.

The hall is where things are taken to another level, the main display is a 5m widescreen projection system with a Canon laser projector. This ensures a consistently bright image with low energy consumption and instant on-off, useful in a school environment.

A further 86” flat screen creates a separate zone for smaller gatherings.

Sound is taken care of by a Yamaha 16 channel digital zone mixer system allowing for full surround sound which can move with the current orientation of the hall from portrait to landscape layout. This is to allow for a future second projector and screen. 

For school performances and events an Allen and Heath 32 channel digital mixer and full LED theatre lighting system have been included.

Again this whole space is controlled by an iPad based touch screen system allowing control not only over the AV system but the lighting and also the 3 remote camera web streaming system allowing full recording and web broadcasting.

Thanks to the dedication of APi staff the whole project was delivered in the timescale promised.  This didn’t mean it was fully functional in time for the new students due to other building delays, but each classroom for the currently occupied years 0-3 was ready to go. Now as I write, a few weeks into the first term everything is up and running to the delight of the staff.