Friday January 28, 2022

Case Studies

SRD Projects were brought into Channing School in Highgate Hill, North London, to renovate the school’s studio space.

The space was previously a multipurpose classroom, but SRD converted it into a dedicated black box studio, adding stage lighting and AV features. Among these were a stylish console on wheels which the school’s Theatre Technician can use to control the studio’s lighting from a ColourSource AV desk and audio from a Yamaha QL1, as well as Qlab running from a Mac Mini.

In addition to the rolling console, SRD installed a control rack in the side of the room which was designed to aid with teaching and be as easy to use as possible. This rack features a Yamaha panel with an ‘AV on/off’ button which simultaneously lowers the screen, turns on the projector and activates the speakers. It also features a bluetooth audio interface which connects to the main PA system, and a Yamaha control panel.

One key element of the brief was to raise the lighting above the level of beams in the ceiling, giving it a professional look and as much head clearance as possible. This was achieved with eight Milos M290 goalpost trusses, which each have an internally wired bar to allow connection of lighting, speakers and video. A Doughty studio rail was also suspended from the trusses, with the addition of black wool surge drapes which run around the perimeter of the space. A dividing wall allows the studio to be split into two separate teaching sessions.

Another key requirement was that audio to the theatre next door, the Arundel Centre, could be connected via Dante. This allows musicians to provide a live soundtrack to performances. SRD installed Eight EM Acoustics speakers and a series of facility panels in each corner of the studio space, which provided connectivity and audio.


Monday January 3, 2022

Case Studies

SRD Group helped Bennett Memorial School, a secondary school and sixth form in Tunbridge Wells, to install a new lighting and audio system in September 2020. The school is a long-term customer of SRD Hire, so SRD Projects was an obvious choice for the installation.

Bennett Memorial was founded in 1951 but opened its brand new Rochester Building in 2020. The new space is intended as a dedicated area for sixth form students with a separate library, a cafe and more. SRD was brought in to install lighting fixtures, sound and video equipment in the Rochester Building’s main hall space.

The school has since been appointed by the DFE as a teaching hub for Kent, and the lighting, audio and video facilities provided by SRD are key for delivering effective sessions in the hall. The hall also serves as a multifunction space for assemblies and drama with easy to use controls.

The SRD team installed two M290 goalpost trusses by Milos, with Chauvet EVE profiles and wash lights for the stage lighting. A Zero88 rig switch was used for power control, while a Chamsys QuickQ was set up to control all the fixtures. In addition, an Epson projector was installed in the space, to allow presentations and video for teaching hub training and assemblies.

For the PA system, Bose DesignMax speakers are driven from PowerSpace amplifiers, with EQ and speaker management from a ControlSpace DSP. A ControlSpace CC16 wall controller mounted into the equipment rack provides the user interface for the PA system. For larger events and drama productions, an Allen & Heath SQ5 console supplied with an AB168 stage rack allows the connection of mics on stage.

The SRD team also had to work around interruptions caused by Covid lockdowns in March 2020. They were back on site when restrictions eased, and delivered the system in time for the new school intake in September 2020.

Zia Rizai from Bennett Memorial School commented: “We were delighted with SRD’s work at the school. They were flexible enough to work on either side of the lockdown, and had a real attention to detail when installing our new equipment. Our new and returning sixth form students will benefit massively from the capability of the new AV equipment in the Rochester Building.”


Wednesday February 5, 2020

Case Studies

SRD Projects works on a range of permanent installations, with one particular specialty being schools and other educational establishments. 

In late 2017, Weald of Kent Grammar School opened a new multi-million pound annexe building at its Sevenoaks site, which included a new school hall and a lecture theatre/drama space, both in need of quality technical infrastructure for presentations, events and performances.  

The Weald of Kent team had worked with SRD previously on the school’s sports hall and commented: “We came back to them because we know they are determined to make sure the install is the best it can be, and where there are inevitable snags are keen to rapidly correct them.” 

As with every SRD Project, support and guidance wasn’t just limited to the install itself. The school worked closely with SRD from the outset, looking at plans and taking advice on how best to equip the new spaces. 

“It was clear to us that we needed a good sound system for presentations and a lighting set up for performances but in terms of specification of this, SRD were able to advise us clearly on the options available and the benefits/drawbacks of each,” continued Weald of Kent. “For the school it was especially difficult to visualise the need as we were still working from building plans and did not gain access to the school until a few weeks before we opened and therefore SRD’s guidance was invaluable.” 

The school hall was double-storey and the finished article would have a full lighting rig and sound system in addition to tiered seating for up to 250 people. In addition to being a fantastic space for the school’s use, it could also be made available to rent as a conference space.  

As soon as the building was ready to be accessed the SRD team was ready too, preparing the spaces for the opening and on hand to support the school team with getting to grips with the new system, including providing appropriate training to staff and technicians. 

“The installation is far better than we expected providing simplistic controls for teaching staff and hirers but with sophisticated controls which can be adjusted by our technical support team in school. Staff like the equipment and have commented on how easy it is for them to use,” concluded the school.  

If you’re interested in learning more about SRD’s work on schools and educational facilities, including exterior building lighting, get in touch on projects@srdgroup.co.uk or call 01732 771144.