Queen’s Campus, Stockton-on-Tees is part of Durham University, a Collegiate University with ancient traditions and modern values, seeking to achieve the highest distinction in research and scholarship which make a real difference to societies worldwide. The University is committed to excellence in all aspects of learning, education and the transmission of knowledge. Located in a striking waterfront setting, the contemporary Queen’s Campus is purpose-built to deliver world-class courses, combining a friendly and vibrant academic community with city living and a wealth of sport, cultural and leisure activities.
The project was undertaken as part of a refurbishment update to enhance the AV and IT teaching facilities in two lecture theatres and an update to one of the teaching rooms within the science faculty on the Queen’s Campus in Stockton-on-Tees.
The original kit was over 15 years old and had become tired and worn out and so the project included a total upgrade of all existing equipment with the addition of technology to create an overflow facility to stream teaching between lecture theatres to support increased student numbers. Each lecture theatre had 170 and 200 seats respectively and the teaching room update was a refurbishment on a smaller scale to that of the lecture theatres but was to be “the branded centre piece for the University”.
The Graduate Lectern & Alpha Presenter, Durham University The Queen’s Campus Graduates with a JM Lectern
The solution was specified by Universal AV Services in conjunction with the University CIS Department, headed by Clive Bowery, Campus Services Technical Manager. The solution proposed incorporated twin Panasonic WUXGA projectors in both lecture theatres and an AMX control system as the perfect solution to facilitate the need for an overflow facility between the two lecture theatres due to increased student numbers. At this stage the choice of lectern was extremely important as it had to be both visually appealing and practical, housing all of the AV equipment effectively and having enough space for the lecturer to work on. The Graduate 2000 lectern from JM Supplies was the perfect solution, providing the practical element to sufficiently house the AV equipment and be an integral part of the integration.
“Having never had branded furniture before the Graduate would make the statement we wanted, and provide the wow factor” Clive Bowery, Campus Services Technical Manager
In addition to the branding, the size, shape, look, and choice of colours all contributed to the final decision. The Marketing and Communications Office were involved in the sign off of the lecterns as they displayed corporate branding and had to adhere to the strict brand guidelines set out by the University.
“The project was completed mid-September 2013, and up to now no one has said ‘what have you done that for?’ which means people are ok with the change. If no one complains then that’s good enough for us.”
The issues that Clive had with the Graduate lecterns was in relation to the floor being uneven in the lecture theatres. This meant that the cabinet doors of the lectern were uneven and this affected the look and finished product. Clive and his team were very impressed with the way in which JM Supplies dealt with this issue. The Managing Director, Andrew Mitchell and a carpenter visited the site to rectify the problem.
Clive stated that “The after sales service from JM Supplies was faultless and I couldn’t complain at all.”
Universal AV Services Ltd won the tender in May following a tender process through the NEUPC framework and were awarded the contract in July 2013. Due to the difficulty in gaining access to the rooms the works didn’t start until the end of August 2013.
Universal AV Services were responsible for the full install including a full AMX control system with touch panels, Dual Screen Projector, DVD, Computer, Visualisers, Camera’s that send feed for the overflow lecture facilities. In addition to the standard installation there was also the installation of a videoconferencing system.
“We will definitely use JM Supplies again, this was the first project in a long time that required a new lectern, but the next time round JM will definitely be on the tender list.” “The lecture theatres were up and running in no time, so although us as a team were aware of the issues, the lecturers and users of the rooms were unaffected which is my main priority. All in all a successful install.” Clive Bowery, Campus Services Technical Manager