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Hi-Tech High School Now in Session

It looks like a traditional school both inside and out, but at Christian Brothers College High School (Town and Country, MO; pictured at right) every one of the school's nearly 1,000 students has his own laptop

It looks like a traditional school both inside and out, but atChristian Brothers College High School (Town and Country, MO; picturedat right) every one of the school’s nearly 1,000 students has his ownlaptop. They log onto the local network via wireless Internet. Theirhomework assignments are online. There’s not a black board or a stickof chalk on the whole campus.

The new facilities in Town and Country total 245,000 grosssquare-feet on nearly 25 acres. This includes 52 classrooms, 11specialty classrooms (art room, fine arts room, biology labs, andcomputer instruction areas), a 3,000-seat stadium, a 380-seatperforming arts center, a 300-seat chapel, a 500-seat dining area and a1,800-seat gymnasium.

The phone system is a Vo/IP (voice-over/IP) system from Cisco, viathe wireless network. Symetrix SymNet Audio Matrix system mixes,routes, and provides digital processing for audio from multiplesources, and allows for control of everything remotely. The SymNetsystem incorporates CobraNet technology (from Peak Audio) fortransporting multi-channel audio and control data over the network tothe TV Studio for recording and broadcast.

Audio is delivered to loudspeaker systems from Tannoy ( in 70classrooms (a package of one powered ceiling subwoofer and fourhigh-quality ceiling monitors), and to six other special venues orareas on campus. Ashley amps drive five of six sub-systems, with Crownamps driving the stadium system, and the SymNet system (with CobraNetinterface) provides automated control of both mic inputs and audioout.

Voice intelligibility is the critical reason for high-quality audio.Language classes at CBC HS, for example, are built around access toInternet and DVD/CD materials. Other classes draw upon these resourcesas well.

Tannoy PowerLinx systems in the classrooms are self-contained.Ashley amps drive five of the six audio sub-systems, while Crown CTSeries amps drive the stadium and paging system Tannoys. SymNet systems(network-linkable audio matrix DSPs from Symetrix) with a CobraNet(from Peak Audio) interface provides local control of the sevennon-classroom audio systems.

The 358-seat, steeply raked theater has some 68 inputs in variouslocations, all “live” on the SymNet matrix. Operators can selectdifferent settings: for business meeting, a rental situation, or a fullproduction. All are auto mixed with some inputs routed through a Mackieconsole and back through the loudspeaker system.

The stadium system consists of three Tannoy iQ1015 cabinets. As inthe theater, audio for the stadium is controlled through the SymNetmatrix. Operators can select a system setting for either a large or asmall crowd for adjustment of overall gain. Beyond that, operators havethree “knobs”: one for program audio, one for press booth inputs, andone for field mics. All are auto-mixed, with limiters, and with anauto-ducking feature for when the announcer speaks. When the band comeson the field, the bandleader simply plugs in. The mics are live and theaudio operator can’t overdrive the system.

Though CBC High School is a fully functioning, state-of-the-arteducational institution, that does not mean it will not continue toevolve. Plans are to build a TV production studio this summer that willrival similar facilities on college campuses. The facility will beavailable for students in the fall of 2004.