Founded in 2005, the Rocky Mountain Classical Academy is a successful K-8 charter school in Colorado’s second-largest city, Colorado Springs. However, RMCA was split between two locations until the recent completion of a $17 million, 100,000 square-foot building to house all of its 1,000 students, with additional room to grow school enrollment by 33%.
The building is community-oriented, featuring lots of open areas and gathering spaces with an abundance of natural light. Among them are an adjacent gymnasium and auditorium. With a clever arrangement of movable partitions, the two facilities share a stage that can be used for a wide range of events. When unforeseen budgetary issues threatening the audio/video systems in both rooms, the school district hired local A/V integration firm Sight & Sound Technologies to engineer a fix that would preserve the hoped-for functionality and reliability at a more affordable price. Sight & Sound swapped out the original design’s pricey processors and amplifiers for Ashly Audio’s affordable, network-ready DSP and nX Series amplifiers.
“As sometimes happens, the new building ran into extra expenses that they hadn’t planned for,” said Kris Johnson, COO with Sight & Sound Technologies. “They brought us in, and we got as close to the original system’s functionality as we could while still passing on a savings that amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“A significant component of that was moving to Ashly processing and amplification, which offers tremendous value in performance and reliability at a much more affordable cost. Importantly, all of the Ashly equipment that we installed is network-ready, so we can dial into the system from our offices to make any adjustments that the school requests.”
In addition to the two sound reinforcement systems, Sight & Sound installed a Martin Professional PC-based control system with Chauvet Ovation series fixtures-based lighting system and a Panasonic HD projector/Draper motorized screen-based video system.
To handle the huge range of functions anticipated in the original design, Johnson installed an Ashly ne24.24M Protea™ digital matrix processor that, with the help of a Crestron control system, allows users to select preset scenarios and make adjustments to individual input channels. An Ashly ne4800 4-in x 8-out Protea DSP System Processor handles loudspeaker conditioning for the auditorium side, and an Ashly 3.6SP 3×6 DSP processor handles loudspeaker conditioning for the gymnasium side. A collection of five Ashly NE and nXe-Series network amplifiers, including an ne8250 8-channel 250W amp, an nXe4002 2-channel network 400W amp, two nXe8002s 2-channel network 800W amps, and an nXe1.52 2-channel 1,500W network amp, power the system. Tannoy VX12Q mains with six Tannoy VX6 fills cover the gymnasium, whereas Fulcrum DX1595 mains with US212 subwoofers cover the auditorium. Inputs to the system include a Behringer x32 console on a digital snake and an assortment of wired and wireless microphones. For simple events, the Crestron control system handles everything, so a tech is not needed.
At RMCA, we did all of our programming ahead of time at the office, which made for a smooth installation. Ashly’s sound quality is excellent; it’s always clean and quiet. In fact, I don’t even think to worry about that anymore! The Ashly Protea processing is flexible enough that we were able to give the school all of the functionality they had hoped for in the original design. Ashly’s reliability has always been bulletproof, so I know we won’t be going back to deal with flakey gear.”
He continued, “Several school officials, including the president of the board, have to come to us to say how amazing the system is and how pleased they are that we made it work with their restricted budget. Before we came in, there was talk of cutting the A/V system entirely! It’s quite a turn-around.”
ABOUT SIGHT AND SOUND TECHNOLOGIES
Sight and Sound Technologies exists to help churches, school and other organizations with their audio, video, lighting systems.
Designing full building integrated systems down to simple equipment purchases. Based in Colorado SST works all over the country.