California's San Mateo Union High Schools District is currently in the process of remodeling—and, in some instances, totally replacing—the theaters of six of its high schools: Aragon, Burlingame, Capuchino, Hillsdale, Mills, and the flagship San Mateo location. Theater consulting for each of the venues was provided by San Francisco's Shalleck Collaborative, which specified L-Acoustics loudspeaker systems throughout.
Two of the projects—the brand new 614-capacity Aragon venue and refurbished 90-year-old Burlingame space with 593 seats and reopened balcony—have already now been completed. Both rooms feature left and right arrays comprised of six L-Acoustics KIVA elements flown beneath a single SB18 and driven by LA4 amplified controllers.
The remaining four theaters are all scheduled for completion prior to the start of the 2013-14 school year. Two of the schools boast nearly 800 seats and feature long, narrow room geometries, which will benefit from left and right arrays of eight KIVA with a central cluster of three SB18i arranged in a cardioid configuration. A third school, with close to 1,000 seats and a single balcony, will feature a total of six KIVA, two KILO mid-frequency extension cabinets and a single SB18 per side, while San Mateo (1,540 seats) will utilize two arrays of eight larger KARAi hung below two SB18i.
"L-Acoustics' dV-DOSC has always been one of my favorite loudspeakers, especially for theatre because the vocal quality is so wonderful," said Shalleck Collaborative principal, Ian Hunter. "But I have to say that the essence of dV-DOSC—and now KARA—translates down very well into the much smaller and more cost-effective KIVA enclosures. They possess the same clarity and truth of reproduction, particularly in the vocal bandwidth, and really sound fantastic in these relatively intimate spaces."
"The San Mateo District is a fairly sophisticated client when it comes to arts and technology," Hunter added. "Their productions are always high-profile and extremely well-produced, but they still had to stay within a budget, which L-Acoustics fit nicely. With KIVA and KARA, we were able to offer a scalable solution with a great cost-to-performance ratio and the systems easily support the district's whole range of events from PTA meetings to 'battles of the bands' and everything in between."
Santa Rosa-based PCD is handling integration duties for three of the schools—Burlingame, Mills and San Mateo—with the other three bids being awarded to three separate contractors.