Sandwell College’s new £77 million Central Campus building in West Bromwich, which took four years of planning, will provide a new-age space for its performing arts students across the West Midlands.
With a new theatre space, as well as two dance and drama studios needing to be equipped with state-of-the-art technology, they turned to Stage Electrics to provide technical solution and installation.
Having also installed Sandwell College’s previous building, Peter Coleman and Karl Formstone, who oversaw the business and technical requirements respectively, knew what was required by the college and tendered successfully for the works, led by main contractors Interserve Project Services.
They turned to the catalogue of RCF to meet all their loudspeaker requirements, specifying the active, fully-processed TTL31-A and TTL12-AS line array system for the main theatre, along with a pair of white CW3108 loudspeakers for each of the two drama and dance studios.
In order to provide public address for the public areas, corridors and staff room they also specified a PD1066 6-zone RCF paging system, with BM3002 mic and UP4121 mixer/amplifier. Messages are played out through four of the stylish RCF MQ50-W wall mount speakers on the mezzanine above the giant atrium, with nine PL60 ceiling speakers, recessed into the adjacent false ceiling, the same ceiling speakers also being used in the general staff room and other public areas.
But it is in the performance theatre, with its 153-capacity removable seating, that Stage Electrics have integrated and repurposed some of the College’s previous technology with the newly-specified equipment.
Two loudspeakers hang, each containing four TTL31-A elements with two TTL12-AS subs at the base, provide technical manager Des Lee with a versatile requirement for lectures, conferences, dramatic productions, dance and fashion shows. The theatre has hosted a recent broadcast of BBC’s Question Time.
Coleman’s recommendation for Stage Electrics was based on the success they have had with the TT+ (Touring & Theatre) system on previous projects, such as the much larger Adrian Boult Hall in Birmingham and The Cultural Urban Centre in Liverpool.
The RCF component is only one piece of a complex jigsaw that includes a highly specced control bridge, with separate audio and lighting stations, a control rack, and Stage Electric’s own modular portable table top Stage Management desk. The infrastructure also is equipped with custom lighting bars and winches, with tracks and masking curtains at the stage.
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