United Visual About Us
Contact Us
Support
Whats Hot
Site Map
    
  

Private high school thrilled with projection system

United helps the Latin School of Chicago build multimedia center

It's not what you see, but what you don't see that makes the library at The Latin School of Chicago so interesting. Hidden in the ceiling above the central portion of the room is a Sharp LCD projector that can transform this study area into an impressive multimedia center. With the flip of a switch, a wall screen begins to lower as the projector, mounted on a lift, drops from the ceiling. The lights dim, the sound system comes on, and with very little effort, the center of the library has become the perfect spot for a class presentation, a teachers' meeting or a gathering of parents.

Tough conditions

It's not unusual for a school to move its projection equipment from classroom to classroom. That's what Latin School librarians were doing up until two years ago, when they decided it was time to modernize a bit. "We had been bringing the projector in on a cart and relying on a screen mounted on a tripod with one rubber foot missing," says Barbara Etchingham, one of three Upper School librarians. "We decided we should definitely look better than this, so we sought out Dave Woods from United Visual." A wall of windows facing east makes this room very light and bright, especially in the morning. And, since students typically use the library even when a class is going on in its center section, librarians wanted to keep it bright. Woods was able to provide a Sharp model with enough light output to look good even under these conditions.

Something of value
    Other stories
like this:

 
 
 •   
 •   
 •   
 •   
 •   
 •  
 •   
 •  
 •  
 •  
 •   
 •
 
 

 


"We knew we wanted something permanent," says Chris Doyle, assistant director of facilities. "But we also wanted to maintain the aesthetics of the library." So the school took out a row of bookshelves and had a matching maple cabinet built for the a/v equipment rack, where a VCR, sound system and interfaces are housed. United Visual technicians mounted 16 speakers in the ceiling, which carry program audio to the audience without overpowering the library study areas. Presenters can use a simple remote control to switch between computer, VCR and television sources. Now teachers bring their classes in to show PowerPoint presentations, students use the projector to show projects done on video, and the board of trustees holds its meetings in the library. There's no more struggling with carts, toppling tripods or loose cables.

The Latin School volunteered to host an independent schools conference last November, bringing in presenters from independent schools in 15 midwestern states. The library's new projector package was a big hit. "The speakers who used the library were so impressed," says Etchingham. "The whole point of a/v is to make small things big and soft things loud. One group from Ohio was worried about what they'd have to work with when they got here, but once they saw our new system, they were thrilled!"