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Marine Corps University Equips Classrooms for AV Learning Published:2017-10-18

The Marine Corps University features numerous AV-outfitted rooms, including the 300-seat lecture hall with a six-by-six video wall composed of 55-inch Planar displays.
Higher education settings are facing a new reality: the need for a collaborative learning environment that reaches beyond the confines of a traditional classroom. The Marine Corps University in Quantico, VA recently opened the doors to its new building, Brigadier General Simmons Center for Marine Corps History and Warner Center for Advanced Military Studies, and in it is an array of AV capabilities that affords instructors new ways to communicate course content.

By leveraging Middle Atlantic Products’ web-based Configuration tool, integrator Karcher Group was able to easily design and deliver cutting-edge systems to make the learning experience at the military institution rich and interactive—thus meeting the demanding needs of both staff and students.

“As instructors seek new ways to disseminate information to students, learning environments are transforming into more interactive spaces where content needs to be readily accessible and transferrable,” said Hong Cheng, vice president of technical operations, Karcher Group. “For the integrator, this makes planning a crucial part of the AV selection and implementation process. Without properly specifying the right tools at the start, costs can quickly spiral out of control—creating frustrating delays later in the project for the customer and efficiency problems for the on-site installer.”

The theater is equipped with a JBL 7.2 surround sound system, 34.5-foot Stewart projection screen, and a Christie 33,000-lumen projector.
The new building features 29 classrooms, two tiered classrooms, three large collaboration rooms, five small collaboration rooms, a 300-person lecture hall, a 500-seat theater, as well as other meeting and teaching spaces. Many of the rooms are outfitted with video systems to provide a fully interactive learning environment. The lecture hall, for example, features a Planar six-by-six video wall with 55-inch displays and full production capabilities with a Biamp programmable audio server, 200 Shure MX392/C wired table top boundary mics, three Cisco VTC cameras, and 80 JBL Control 26C/T speakers. The theater is equipped with a JBL 7.2 surround sound system, 34.5-foot Stewart projection screen, and a Christie 33,000-lumen projector. Throughout the building are additional video walls and screens with an array of input options for laptops, video conferencing systems, and document cameras. As a result, teaching staff has several different methods for presenting content.

All these systems must be easy to use and operate at the touch of a button. To that end, each space is equipped with a control system operated by a custom, intuitively designed AMX touchpanel. From the touchpanel, users can also request assistance from the Karcher Group integrated centralized help desk. The help desk operator can remotely troubleshoot the system or dispatch a technician to the fix the system issues.

Behind the scenes, all the inputs and signals are fed back to 55 equipment racks throughout the building. Specifying, ordering, and assembling that many racks could have been a large, time-consuming job. Karcher Group turned to Middle Atlantic’s web-based Configurator to make the process easier and faster.

“As an integrator and a Middle Atlantic customer, working with the Configurator simply made my job easier,” Cheng said. “Many of the rooms had the same systems, so I was able to quickly order the same rack configuration for all those classrooms.”

Since installing the technologically advanced audiovisual system, Marine Corps University has created a learning atmosphere that inspires collaboration and innovation. At the same time, Karcher Group’s AV solution has eliminated many problems that were common in the past. For instance, a streamlined help desk process has enhanced communication for immediate responses and resolutions to everyday problems. As a result, the institution can now provide interactive experiences for years to come while presently putting a world of content at the fingertips of its staff members and students.