Located in the Queenstown suburb of Frankton, the newly built Wakatipu High School embraces OECD Innovative Learning Environment principles, which encourage collaborative educational methods. In addition to classrooms and offices, new Wakatipu High School features a performing arts theater, sports gym, a main foyer with café, dance studio and music recording studio. In order to meet DQLS (Designing Quality Learning Spaces) guidelines from the New Zealand Ministry of Education and ensure premium audio for a wide range of areas, school officials hired Strawberry Sound to install HARMAN networked audio systems throughout the facility.
To deliver clarity and coverage throughout the school’s classrooms, offices, auditorium and gym, Strawberry Sound and JPRO designed and installed a full array of JBL Contractor Control Series speakers and Commercial Series ceiling speakers. The entire system is networked via BSS Soundweb London BLU-103 and BLU-100 digital audio processors, distributed via Dante Layer 3 protocol and managed with HARMAN HiQnet Audio Architect software.
For the main sound system in the school’s performing arts theater, the Strawberry Sound and JPRO teams installed a left-center-right array of JBL SRX812 two-way powered loudspeakers and SRX818SP powered subwoofers, flown above the stage. They also included a Soundcraft SI Impact digital mixing console to ensure intuitive professional mixes during productions and events. Microphones and other input signals are connected from the stage to the mixing console via Soundcraft Mini Stagebox 16, and output speaker signals are time-aligned with a BSS BLU-100 digital processor.
“To embrace technology from an educational perspective, schools require high quality AV equipment and loudspeakers,” said Nicholas van Dyk, Specialist at JPRO. “The high efficiency of JBL speakers yields better coverage using fewer speakers at lower volumes. As a result, teachers and pupils benefit from not becoming mentally or aurally fatigued due to poor sound quality and acoustics. The building project manager Blair Grier said that Wakatipu High School features the finest acoustics he has ever encountered in almost three decades of experience.” “The open architecture of this platform provides a completely customizable solution for future changes to the paging and automatic phone switching systems,” said Reuben Pearce of Strawberry Sound. “The PABX phone system can dial into the BLU-103 if needed and easily broadcast to the entire school through the headset. The ability to add customized panel settings for paging system helps simplify the faculty and staff’s daily communications.”