Steyn City opens new school

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The brand-new Steyn City School is implementing a curriculum where children can feel at their absolute best, where their minds are challenged and where learning becomes a fascination. With the aim to nurture both academic and self-expression in the arts, the School opened its doors in January 2018. DWR Distribution was privileged to install curtains and curtain tracks as well as a lighting, audio and AV in the auditorium which will be used by the Dramatic Arts and Music departments as well as for everyday use like assemblies.

Steyn City School is situated just outside the unique Steyn City Parkland Residence. Interestingly, what is now a residential estate was once abandoned land which included an old mine quarry. Douw Steyn initially owned 180ha of industrial-zoned land between Dainfern and Diepsloot. Realizing the potential, he and his business partner and friend, Giuseppe Plumari, a property developer, started purchasing land around this area as it became available. Together they amassed a total of 2 000 acres between William Nicol Drive and Cedar Road with Riversands Farm on its northern border. Today the upmarket location includes everything from homes to parks, an equestrian centre with bridle paths, golf course, sport and recreation facilities and now a school!

Successfully delivering on high-quality projects, Metrum Project Management was commissioned for the planning and construction development of the school. They, in turn, contracted work to BCO Construction, known for their exclusive buildings and workmanship throughout South Africa. A tender process saw DWR Distribution sub-contracted to supply the audio visual and lighting in the auditorium. Later, DWR were also awarded another tender, this time for the full curtaining system.

“We were one of the last subcontractors appointed and it was a very tight schedule,” said Kevin Stannett from DWR. “Working on a brand-new school from scratch and being involved with the construction, identifying where points are needed, was a great experience. It’s lovely to see a high-quality school putting in good equipment from the word go.”

DWR’s manufacturing department, headed by Rob Young, were responsible for installing the custom-made 18m long curtain track for the stage as well as supplying the auditorium curtains. All the side windows are on motorised curtain tracks and the main stage curtains are also on a motorised track. The backstage curtain is on a hand winched track and all the leg curtains on stage were also supplied by DWR.

“On the lighting side we installed two lighting bars on stage and two Front of House bars, all controlled off a Philips Strand 250 ML lighting desk,” explained Kevin. “The Strand 250 ML is obviously priced very well for this kind of job, and it has the flexibility to control generics, moving lights and LED. It’s really great for this application.”

Janie de Jager, Rob Young and Andi Rodgers from DWR who assisted with the install.

 

For the front of house white light, ten Longman F8Ups, a tunable white, were selected. “This fixture does white only and not multiple colours so I feel for a school it’s foolproof,” said Kevin. “You can’t push up a fader by mistake and end up with red on your stage, it’s always white. The fixtures are LED, so low power consumption, and they do not require dimmers or three-phase power.”

On the second FOH closer to the stage, eight Longman F4Ups, with colour changing RGBW, were hung. These units provide colour from the front and will also be used to light up the stage stairs.

A further 24 Longman Facepars were positioned on the stage. “This is an RGB amber white, very compact little LED par,” said Kevin. “It’s just a wash, but it can do any colour and it’s low power consumption.”

The necessary cabling infrastructure saw DWR supply power and DMX to every bar.

The sound was a simple school audio system and this installation was overseen by DWR’s Andi Rodgers and included all the cabling and patch cables required to make it work. “We used a SoundCraft Si Compact 16 channel mixer. We ran audio multicore from the control room to the stage with a 16-way patch panel with floorboxes to enable the school to plug in microphones anywhere on the floor wherever they need to. Two Shure SM58 wireless microphones have been supplied.” JBL Powered Loudspeakers are positioned on either side of the stage.

To meet the video requirements, an Optoma Projector projects onto a 200-inch motorized screen. A full wall mount button control, one on stage and the other in the control booth, gives control of the motorised screen and projector.

“Metrum Project Management and BCO Construction were brilliant, flexible and helpful,” said Andi Rodgers from DWR. “Thank you also to Dough Kennaugh, consultant on this project.”

Steyn City school offer a cultural programme where self-expression is encouraged and applauded. The auditorium will be one of the platforms where children can explore their strengths and stretch their boundaries.