Winston-Salem State University opened its New Sciences Building in Spring 2021 to students majoring in science, technology, engineering, math, and health. The 102,095-square-foot facility has 24 AV equipped classrooms, study rooms, lecture halls, and a makerspace that supports the school’s vision of creating open, interactive, and flexible learning and collaboration spaces.
AV design, installation, and commissioning were accomplished under a tight schedule by Winston-Salem-based Pro AV integration firm ClarkPowell in coordination with WSSU technology support analyst Chris Screen. All AV-enabled education spaces rely on Extron switching, distribution, and control designs ranging from a customized Extron (opens in new tab) PlenumVault configuration to more complex setups built around Extron matrix switchers. Users control the AV systems via a simple-to-operate touch panel interface that is uniform from room to room.
Elaborating on the simplicity of the user interface, Chris Screen noted, "After we guided an initially apprehensive, technology-averse professor through the touch panel interface a couple of times, she brightened and said, 'This is as easy as my phone.' She loves teaching in that room and tries to retain ‘squatter’s rights’ to the room. That’s how easy the AV controls are, the way we set it up with coding help from ClarkPowell and Extron.”
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Seventeen classrooms, labs, and study areas are equipped with PlenumVault digital classroom systems. Heavily attended classes are accommodated by six large classrooms, each with three displays. Mobile desks allow students to form ad hoc collaboration pods gathered around each display. AV content can be sourced from DTP wall plate transmitters with HDMI and DisplayPort inputs.
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Students can wirelessly share content from their portable devices via three ShareLink Pro 1100s—one for each screen. Four of the large classrooms are equipped with DTP CrossPoint 84 4K matrix switchers that route sources to screens in response to selections at TLP Pro 1025M 10-inch TouchLink Pro touchpanels. The fifth and sixth large classrooms are a divisible space with movable partition and feature a DTP CrossPoint 108 4K matrix switcher. In the makerspace, an HC 403 Meeting Space Collaboration System and ShareLink Pro 1100 support impromptu show-and-tell sessions. All rooms feature clear sound from Extron Flat Field speakers.