Part of the new installation at Lees Brook School
UK - School Stage, the performing arts installation company offering exclusive provision to schools, colleges and universities, recently completed a project using Chauvet Professional fixtures to add colour and 'wow' factor to a multi-functional assembly hall in the newly built Lees Brook Community School in Derby.

The new school building was commissioned by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) because the school buildings were in poor shape, but no provision had been included for sound and lighting systems. Sensing this was a real opportunity to create the hall as a spectacular performance space, the school's former head teacher came out of retirement to project-manage the rebuild for the school.

Having sourced quotations and designs from other companies, the school governors awarded the contract to School Stage, who scrutinised the proposals and made sweeping changes to the building's internal design to ensure the best possible end result.

The assembly hall now features an impressive lighting rig from Chauvet Professional, with a stage area boasting 12 COLORdash Par-Hex 12 fixtures, four Q-Wash 419Z-LED moving heads, and four powerful 240W LED Rogue R2 Spot units for authentic award ceremony presentations or school band concerts. Eight COLORado Batten 72 Tour wash lights are positioned across the back wall lighting cyclorama.

The R2 Spot unit, from the Rogue series, features seamless fading and unique gobo-morphing between its two gobo wheels. A motorised iris, frost, and three-facet prism for creative beam shaping ensure the Rogue R2 Spot's place as a must-have product. School Stage company director, Chris Newton commented: "The Rogue R2 units are robust in design and just the brightness I was looking for. The hall roof is very high and the R2s have the power necessary to provide real punch."

In the main auditorium, carefully hidden within each alcove left and right of the stage, are a further four Rogue R2 Spot units, four Q-Wash 419Z-LED moving yoke wash lights, with three individually controlled LED zones for great visual effects, and four COLORdash Par-Hex 12 fixtures. Alongside these are ten Philips PL1 profile and four Philips PLFresnel1 luminaires.

The separate drama studio now features six COLORdash Par-Hex 12 units, illuminating the space. Chris Newton cites the fixtures as 'a good choice'. As well as being an intensely bright LED PAR wash fixture, the ultra-compact COLORdash Par-Hex 12 satisfies the need for bright ultraviolet light without a separate UV fixture, and thus provides extra versatility across the performance suite installation. Conventional tungsten halogen fittings from Philips were also installed and Newton was impressed with how well the LED verses conventional worked together in this environment.

The lighting system is controlled via an ETC Ion lighting console, which can be operated via an iPad. Separately, the lighting can operate via the main Crestron control system that is the brains behind the operation of the halls complete AV inventory; operated also via iPad, as well as by a wall-mounted and portable touch screen. Into these control interfaces, School Stage programmed various preset lighting schemes to enable simple operation of the lights and presentation systems in the hall.

Following many months of planning and one full month of installation working amongst the main builders, the completion handed over on time and on budget with full training. The Lees Brook teachers and students were delighted with the end result and were able to competently control the systems for their lessons within minutes of being trained.

(Lee Baldock)

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