Croesyceiliog School in Cwmbran saw a largescale new build development and modernisation at its existing site, which was match-funded by Torfaen County Borough Council and Welsh Government, forming part of the 21st Century Schools programme.
It represents the biggest spend on any new school by the local authority.
Replacing the outdated buildings that had been in place since the 1950s, the new facilities now accommodate 1,200 pupils and include: a double-height assembly hall, dining area, drama studio, activity studio, gym, learning resource centre, two-storey sports centre and outdoor pitches.
Working alongside main contractor, Kier Construction and electrical contractor, Whitehead Building Services, Vaughan Sound has provided a complete package of solutions for this £30m replacement secondary school.
We were tasked with designing, specifying, supplying and installing performance sound, stage lighting and audio-visual systems for the Main Hall, Drama Studio, Activity Studio and Fitness Suite.
Induction loop systems were also fitted to Reception and the Main Hall, while Vaughan Sound also supplied a range of communal microphones to the school.
A full performance lighting scheme has been developed whereby the Main Hall can be used for productions, assemblies and also ‘in the round’ for larger drama classes.
Careful consideration was given to the requirement for stage lighting as part of the school curriculum and industry standard equipment was specified with this in mind.
A front of house internally wired lighting bar and two over stage bars were fitted, featuring 15A dimmed and 13A non dimmed outlets for powering DMX controlled light fittings and DMX in/out facilities.
A range of analogue luminaires such as profile zoom spots, fresnels, floods and LED parcans were installed, along with two moving head LED fittings, all of which are typical for educational and theatrical applications.
All dimmed circuits were wired to a 24-channel, 10A dimming pack with DMX control infrastructure provided at the facility panels and from the control position.
An intuitive DMX lighting console was provided, with the ability to address and control all luminaires and be connected at any facility panel within the space to allow superb flexibility for operators.
The high-quality performance sound system comprises 12” cabinet loudspeakers and a sub bass loudspeaker, with additional in fill speakers flown in front of the stage.
Control comes via a 20-channel mixing desk, while additional digital sound processing (DSP) has been included for loudspeaker management, compression and equalisation.
The control equipment was installed to a mobile equipment rack for portability, with connectivity and cable infrastructure provided at key locations within the hall.
Vaughan Sound was also responsible for specifying and installing the stage curtains, drapes, track and cyclorama.
A 6500 lumen WXGA resolution projector has been ceiling mounted at high level within the Main Hall, along with a 4m retractable electric screen.
When the screen is retracted the image is projected directly onto the cyclorama cloth, allowing for vivid scenery backdrops.
Technician’s ring intercom and show relay systems enable discrete communication via beltpack transmitters and microphone headsets between the Main Hall, Drama Studio (Green) Room and each facility panel location.
A standalone sound system can be found in the Activity Studio, while the Fitness Suite benefits from background music relayed via a CD/MP3/USB player and recessed ceiling loudspeakers.
The Drama Studio features its own performance sound and stage lighting system, alongside stage curtains/track, a 5000 lumen projector and 3.5m retractable electric screen.
Induction loop systems for the hard of hearing were installed within the Main Hall and Reception, with four portable units also delivered to the school.
Vaughan Sound also supplied a range of vocal, instrument and wireless radio microphone systems for communal use within the school, to be utilised during performances, assemblies and within the music and recording rooms.
A bespoke flightcase houses the microphones as a central resource, with a range of connection leads and boom stands included too.
Croesyceiliog School held an opening ceremony with Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education in attendance.
Working collaboratively with Kier Construction and Whitehead Building Services, Vaughan Sound once again provided technical design, product specification and installation services to deliver cutting-edge, industry standard performance sound and stage lighting systems, alongside other leading audio-visual equipment, at this forward-thinking secondary school.
“From inception of the project, [Vaughan Sound] has worked in a fully collaborative manner with Torfaen’s in-house consultant team in order to produce a first-class facility for the pupils, staff and community of Torfaen.
“There were many challenges throughout the first phase of the project, including constructing the new facility within a live school environment, and these were overcome by proactive, integrated, collaborative project management. All who worked on the project should be proud of their achievements.”
– John Lewis, Group Leader for Property Construction (Torfaen County Borough Council)
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