Case Study

Situation

University officials began planning a new 110,000-square-foot building on their Lawrence campus for the School of Pharmacy. As the discussions progressed to topics of audio/visual and distance learning technology, officials from the University’s Design, Construction and Maintenance department knew from past experiences they could rely on SKC for such a large scale project.

School officials challenged SKC with the task of designing a state-of-the-art technology solution that would foster communication and attract prospective students. The building plans included two lecture auditoriums, five classrooms, three conference rooms, two lab rooms, digital signage, and a network operations center to monitor and control the technology.

Solution

By including SKC in the building design stages, SKC was able to work with Treanor Architects, electricians, and other building contractors to fit the technology into the design of each room, allowing the project to be completed on time, saving the University additional labor costs.

Classrooms

The building’s two 175-seat auditoriums are each equipped with two mounted Da-Lite Electrol Screens at the front of the room. The screens are paired with Christie HD 6000 Lumen projectors mounted into the ceiling. The front of each auditorium features three 65-inch Mitsubishi LCD monitors to act as supporting displays to the projected image. Four 52-inch Mitsubishi LCD monitors are mounted toward the back of the auditorium to repeat the front displays, which gives students in the back of the room a better view of the material. Two more 52-inch Mitsubishi LCD monitors reside in the ceiling overhang as instructor confidence monitors which show content, far end conference video and local camera views.

Each auditorium is also outfitted with two HD videoconferencing cameras facing the students, one HD camera focused on the instructor, and an additional standard definition camera for the control room to monitor any technology issues. Each camera can be controlled by the AMX Modero touch panel or from the video control room.

The custom instructor’s lectern houses equipment rack space for the computer, document camera, classroom control touch panel and other technology. The podium includes a gooseneck microphone, wireless lavalier and handheld microphones. Additionally, push-to-talk desktop microphones are attached to every other student seat, which allows the entire room, and those on the far end of a video call, to clearly hear individual student responses. Biamp audio mixers distribute the sound to the flush-mounted ceiling speakers, providing clean sound throughout the auditorium.

The 75-seat, 64-seat and 50-seat classrooms are equipped with two Da-Lite Electrol projection screens and ceiling-mounted Mitsubishi HD projectors. The screens are used as primary student displays, content displays and far end videoconferencing. Two additional Mitsubishi 52-inch instructor confidence monitors are also mounted to the walls.

The mid-sized classrooms are equipped with the same custom podium, flush-mounted AMX control panel and Biamp audio equipment as the larger auditorium rooms.

Network Operations Center

The school’s Network Operations Center (NOC) allows University technicians to monitor classes and video calls to keep an eye on any technology issues and proactively resolve any problems before they impact the class or presentation.

The NOC houses a control room monitor console which is set up with two operator stations. Technicians observe calls on the 18 monitors mounted to the wall, giving them the ability to monitor every call and classroom simultaneously.

Conference Rooms

A combination of AMX control panels, Biamp audio, Polycom videoconferencing, and Mitsubishi HD monitors and projectors provide students and faculty with a means to conduct interactive meetings and presentations.

Patient Consulting Labs

Integrated patient consulting labs are set up with cameras to record students as they practice interacting with patients. The video can be replayed on one of two 42-inch HD LCD monitors and reviewed with professors for instruction.

Digital Signage

Eight 40-inch Mitsubishi LCD digital signage monitors are mounted throughout the building to provide information to visitors, students and faculty. The system runs on AMX’s Inspired-2-Go Education digital signage program which offers a platform for administrators to broadcast important information in an easy-to-use format.

Room Scheduling System

To keep classes and meeting space organized, an AMX RMS Room Scheduling Assistant is attached to the wall outside of each classroom and meeting space. The scheduling program allows rooms to be reserved ahead of time for classes and meetings, while also notifying those outside of the room if the room is in use.

Results

The Network Operations Center has provided a useful, hands-on approach to solving technical issues before they arise. With standardized AMX room controls throughout the building, NOC technicians have access to each room’s equipment from the control center, allowing them to offer remote support, which minimizes class and meeting disruptions.

“We’re very pleased with the way SKC handled our project, from the stringent time requirements to unexpected complications that popped up,” Steve Dahlberg, Videoconferencing Manager. “They’ve been professional and efficient in their support from day one and we know we can always count on them.”

About the Client

Established in 1885, the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy encourages the advancement of pharmaceutical care to enhance health through its classes and programs. As a leader in pharmaceutical education, the School maintains a leadership role in developing advanced technologies, and drug therapy related research inclusive of pharmaceutical, clinical, and administrative sciences both domestically and globally.

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Products Used:
  • Polycom HDX 9004
  • AMX EPICA DGX Matrix Switcher
  • AMX Modero VG Series touch panels
  • Biamp DSP Audio Mixer
  • Mitsubishi 5000 Lumen 1080p projector
  • Mitsubishi HD LCD Monitors
  • Da-Lite Tensioned Advantage Electrol HD Screen
  • Shure Microphones