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Berkley School Auditorium

 

Berkley Normal Middle School is located in Hamilton City in the North Island of New Zealand. The school has a roll of approximately 650 students aged 11 to 14 years drawn mainly from the surrounding suburb of Hillcrest and the adjacent rural area. In 2007 the school embarked on a project to upgrade the technical facilities within the existing auditorium. The upgrade consisted of construction of a control room at the rear of the auditorium and installation of new equipment. The stage lighting system was supplied and installed by Adena Ltd.

A unique aspect of the auditorium is that seating is on three sides with a clear floor space between the seating and additional 'stage' space at floor level beyond the seating. The entire floor space is used for various performance activities. This layout means that the stage lighting needs to surround the performing space on three sides.

Berkley Normal Middle School Auditorium Spot Bars

This photo shows the stage left side of the new lighting truss which was installed above the seating on all three sides. The three truss sections are suspended from the laminated wooden beams to a permanent height approx 300mm below the beams.

The seating on the stage left and stage right sides is able to be pushed back to stack against the wall so access to the lighting truss from a tall step ladder is easy and safe. The video projector that can be seen at the top of the photo is suspened from a centre frame that supports the loudspeaker system and provides an additional stage lighting.

Berkley Normal Middle School Auditorium Spot Bars and Control Room

This photo is taken from the stage area looking towards the rear of the auditorium showing the rear section of the lighting truss. The new control room is in the centre of the photo.

The control room 'window' can be closed for security when the room is not in use by fitting locable shutters into the window opening. When the control room is in use the large window opening provides operators with good sight lines and the ability to hear the sound in the auditorium. The control room houses the usual sound and lighting control equipment.

Berkley Normal Middle School Auditorium Spot Bars

This photo shows the stage right section of the new lighting truss and the corner where it meets the rear section of truss. The old lighting bars, which have no permanent electrical services can be seen near the top left of the photo.

One problem that had to be overcome for this installation was the lack of an accessible ceiling cavity to run the new cabling through. The solution was to run all the cabling inside the top tube of the rear truss then use a short flexible multicore cable to link the side truss sections to the rear truss. This cable is reasonably inconspicuous (you can just see it in the photo) and still allows the truss sections to move independently on their suspension fittings.