Denison High School in Denison, Texas recently completed a new 300,000 square-foot building to accommodate its 1,250-plus students. Although packed with the latest in academic technology and the sort of architectural features that both provide comfort and encourage learning, the new building faced cost overruns and a budgeting challenge that required creative thinking on the part of its subcontractors. Among them was a plan put forward by local A/V integrator Batts Audio, Video & Lighting to jettison a 70-volt announcement/bell system (and all the expensive conduit it would require!) for a distributed amplifier system running a 25-volt announcement/bell system. Based around eight 8-channel Ashly Audio ne8250.25pe Network Amplifiers with built-in Protea™ DSP processing, Batts AV&L gave Denison a reliable, high-quality system for a fraction of the cost of the proposed 70-volt system.
“The issue was that the new school was coming in way over budget,” explained Jeremy Pilcher, vice president of operations at Batts AVL. “It was recommended to them by the construction manager at risk, as well as by a third-party construction manager, that many items be brought back under the umbrella of the district’s responsibility, such as classroom projectors, cafeteria/gym/video room projectors, auditorium technology, and the announcement system. We have an established relationship with the district, and we became responsible for all of it.”
Ashly Audio is the industry leader in multi-channel 25-volt amplifiers. They are extremely cost-effective, especially with optional on-board processing, and are well-known for their reliability.” –Jeremy Pilcher, vice president of operations at Batts AVL.
The most vexing problem was the announcement/bell system, which called for a 70-volt system run through conduit throughout the building. “We ran the costs/benefits on using 25-volt amps distributed throughout the building that could power loudspeakers without necessitating conduit,” Pilcher said. “Sure, we needed more amps, but even after accounting for that, the cost savings was substantial.
The system begins with a dedicated paging system with analog outputs to trigger different zones. Those triggers and the voice signal travel to the eight Ashly ne8250.25pe amplifiers, which are placed strategically throughout the school. Each amplifier’s eight channels powers delivers 250 watts output to multiple zones of 25-volt Quam-Nichols loudspeakers, and each separate channel can constitute a separate selectable paging zone. The Ashly ne8250.25pe amplifiers also provide modest equalization, delay and limiting using the optional on-board Ashly Protea processing. “All together, using Ashly’s 25-volt amplifiers provided a functionally and cost-effective solution,” said Pilcher.