K College puts ETC at the head of the class

Date Posted: 3/7/2012

K College in Tonbridge

ETC dealer Northern Light recently finished a technical installation at the newly refurbished and renamed K College in Tonbridge, Kent, UK (formerly West Kent College).

The college is undergoing an £86 million ($134 million) regeneration project in which it is modernizing its facilities and building a flagship college in Southeast England. One of the first new buildings to be built includes a multipurpose performing arts facility, specified by Arup Theatre Consulting and installed by Northern Light with loose equipment supplied by Stage Electrics.

Steve Myers, project manager for Northern Light, says: "Northern Light has a long history of both working with Arup Theatre Consulting and of carrying out technical fit-outs in educational establishments - we completed more than 1,000 installations in schools, colleges and universities. ETC dimming and control systems work extremely well in a facility of this size."

The college's technical manager Ian Gobel explains: "We had a good idea of what was required, but Arup, when they were asked to specify the exact equipment, drew up a technical master plan. I then went to PLASA with a group of students to visit the stands of the manufacturers who had been listed - which meant I could get a demonstration of all the lighting and sound equipment. Coming from a sound background, it's good to be able to talk to product managers to actually establish that the equipment will do what I want.

At the ETC stand, we were shown the Ion® lighting desk and given a full demonstration of the sort of things it can do by the controls product manager, which meant we could ask as many questions as we needed. They showed me how easy it would be to get started.

"We got an ETC Unison® Paradigm® lighting management which connects to the Ion and also has button stations around the facility so that lighting can be controlled from a number of different places. It made sense to have ETC Sensor® dimming as well, to ensure best compatibility between the different systems."

Consultant Alex Wardle of Arup adds: "The ETC Ion desk was most definitely the right desk for the venue, which will mostly be used for theater performances and 'go button' style of programming. Eos is rapidly taking over as industry standard for UK theaters, so it makes sense for students to learn this platform.

"We didn't manage to get lighting bridges above the auditorium, but instead managed to earmark a reasonable budget for automated luminaires. ETC Sensor was the most sensible dimmer choice: robust, reliable and modular."