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SAVi Study 1 - Main projection system for The Saint John Henry Newman School

Multi purpose presentation and acoustic system

The Saint John Henry Newman School with a rather challenging audio-visual project for their multi-purpose sports hall


April 2023

The Saint John Henry Newman School

The Saint John Henry Newman Catholic School
Hitchin Road, Stevenage,
Hertfordshire, SG1 4AE

Our role

AV consultants and system design, installation and servicing.

When Smart AV were approached by The Saint John Henry Newman School with a rather challenging audio-visual project for their multi-purpose sports hall, their experienced design engineers knew exactly what was required.

Projectors, Screens and Ball-proof Cages

With the need to address a large audience, the school often hosted events presenting across the width of their hall from a temporary centre-stage. Consequently, they required two large motorised projection screens to flank the stage on either side. To the casual observer this seemed like a simple request. However, this hall was their primary sports hall where many balls of varying types are regularly flying around at speeds guaranteed to damage projectors and screens alike. As sports halls are often used for such events, this scenario was very familiar to the Smart AV design team. Thus, they were able to swiftly propose an appropriate solution that would meet the requirements of all those wishing to use the hall.

Epson 7000 lumen laser projectors were chosen for their fantastically bright images and minimal servicing requirements. These projected onto two 13’ motorised projection screens mounted to the steel building structure via custom-fabricated bracketry. The whole installation was operated form a centrally mounted control panel for simple and reliable operation.

Fabricated form mild steel channel, custom cages for both screens and projectors were cut and formed on-site. The entire project was installed via high-level work platforms and completed within three days, with minimal impact upon the school timetable.

The end result was a neat and reliable projection system, completely protected by custom designed and neatly installed steel cages.

Custom Acoustic Curtains and Track

Acoustic control or treatment, while often essential, ideally must not negatively impact upon interior aesthetics, practical usability or maintenance of a space. Consequently, sports halls present a particularly difficult challenge. This is primarily because acoustically absorbent panels, by their very nature, are often soft and certainly easily marked or damaged by flying footballs and the like. In this particular instance, the design was further complicated because the hall structure prevented more conventional, wall-hung acoustic solutions from being employed.

To address these concerns, Smart AV designed and installed a ceiling-hung, custom curtain track and acoustic curtains. After careful consideration the school chose a light blue colour for the curtains to compliment the hall interior. The curtains were hung at a carefully calculated distance from the wall and tamed sound reflections considerably. As a result, the hall became a far better place to work and enjoy leisure activities. As intended, the curtains are also virtually unaffected by ball strikes and easily removed for cleaning too. In the end the project was a win-win for all.

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