Cambourne Village College is an academy school situated on the outskirts of Cambourne in Cambridgeshire. The college has occupied its current site since 2013, boasts a roll of more than 1300 pupils and has plans for further expansion including the opening of a sixth form centre in 2024.
In 2020 the college secured funding to upgrade its theatre block, a flexible performance space that also serves as a dining hall for pupils over lunchtime.
The initial design brief was for a high end audio system, lighting grid with fittings, video projection and drapes throughout. While remaining key to the day to day operation of the school, it needed to transform into a venue that could fulfil a range of uses including theatre shows, cinema and even wedding receptions for both the school and external customers.
Cambourne Village College reached out to a number of companies with the initial brief before selecting Solotech as their preferred supplier.
From the outset Solotech Business Development Manager Lydia Hawthorne was keen to ensure the College got the maximum return for their available budget.
For audio, Senior Applications and Support Engineer Kyle Durno used modelling software to draw up options from a number of leading manufacturers. The software predicts the maximum Sound Pressure Levels (SPL) the designs can offer as well as ensuring that the coverage is even throughout the room.
The team at Cambourne opted for an L-Acoustics system which used the A-10 range of loudspeakers. Three hangs of two L-Acoustics Wide and one L-Acoustics Focus in a Left-Centre-Right configuration with a hang of two KS21 sub woofers flown directly behind the centre hang. A QSC Q-Sys 110F core provides Digital Signal Processing, routing and overall system control.
From engineering drawings and calculations, it was decided that a fixed grid truss was the optimum solution for hanging the loudspeakers, lighting and the drop down projection screen. Integrated within the truss would be the power and DMX infrastructure for the lights as well as the loudspeaker cabling.
Curtain track has been installed throughout, allowing the room to be turned from a dining hall to a venue in just a few moments, complete with tabs and wings for theatrical events.
Lydia Hawthorne commented on the installation: “This project has been a pleasure to work on from the outset. We took Cambourne’s initial design brief and went through it to ensure they got maximum return on their investment. Not only were we able to supply them with options, but we could demonstrate the advantages of each design.”
“The finished solution is a high-end theatre package that is both flexible and easy to operate. When configured for an event you would never know you were in a school dining hall.”
Charlie Rayner is Events Manager at Cambourne Village College: “ This project has made such a difference to the hall and we are exceptionally pleased with how it has turned out.. The truss gives us such a flexible solution. Lydia Hawthorne and all the team at Solotech have given so much to the college that will be here for many years. I can’t recommend you enough.”
Lydia Hawthorne added, “In all my years in the industry, this ranks as one of my favourites. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the team at Cambourne and we hope we get the opportunity to work with them again in the future.”