Background

West Nottinghamshire College offers education and training to over 20,000 students and businesses every year; providing a huge range of courses to suit everyone – GCSEs, A-Levels, vocational, part-time adult courses, apprenticeships, higher education and professional training tailored to both individuals and employers.

 

The College began construction of its new building in January 2012 as part of an £11 million redevelopment of its Derby Road campus in Mansfield. This forms part of a wider £40 million investment in its estate and facilities across the districts of Mansfield and Ashfield. The new building is set over three floors and is home to the College’s lifestyle academy – which comprises of the hair, beauty, complementary therapies, hospitality and catering curriculums – along with health and social care, and A-Levels provision including computer science.

 

It provides around 4,000sq.m of additional teaching and learning space including 17 modern classrooms, six technology suites, four hair and beauty salons, a spa, fine dining restaurant, open-plan student resource area and boardroom.

Situation

West Nottinghamshire College has a reputation for innovation and excellence and, as a dynamic college for inspiring communities, it plays a key role in enabling social and economic prosperity for individuals and employers.

 

The College recognised that to provide alternative teaching practices, it required an up-to-date learning environment to enable greater interactivity for its students. It needed to allow educational content to be presented in a sensory capacity to empower tutors and inspire students. The College, therefore, sought an experienced technology partner that could successfully design, deliver and install a complete AV solution to service the new campus.

Solution

West Nottinghamshire College received four quotes, all very similar in price, so knew the differentiator would come down to the quality of the install and overall service. The college had used Stone Group before for PC and AV requirements at its other campuses, so from past experience knew they were the right partner.

 

The College worked closely with the AV specialists at Stone Group to design the AV solution for each of the new classrooms and learning areas, which consisted of 27 SMART boards, 27 Hitachi projectors and 27 Vision speaker systems, as well as the very latest 80″ CTOUCH interactive LCD screen for the main boardroom. Stone then liaised with the new-build contractors on the installation process and their AV engineers completed the install within two weeks. The new building was then handed over to the college in February 2013, on time and within budget.

 

The new classrooms and learning areas now provide tutors with alternative modes of delivery; providing the ultimate interactive learning experience to aid student participation.

 

For example, multimedia content can be displayed in lessons to be inclusive of all students – providing a sensory-rich environment to meet a wide variety of specific needs – including those involving a learning disability. Tutors can teach across the Visual, Audio and Kinaesthetic Learning (VAK) spectrum to incorporate a variety of learner-specific content – from HD video to simulation activities on the interactive touch panels.

“We are extremely happy with the new AV solution at our Derby Road campus. Having already used Stone Group before and been subject to their first-rate customer care and quality service, I knew they were the right partner for us. The installation was speedy and they completed to schedule, so the process was seamless.

Being able to work with a strategic partner like Stone Group who can provide a full solution, from front-end devices to the very latest audio visual technology, is critical for us to be able to offer a truly next generation learning environment for our students.”

— Keith Mellor, Head of Learning Resources