RDL Dante™ Networked Audio Interfaces Provide Shattuck-St. Mary’s School with Stability and Flexibility in their New Mass Notification System
Founded in 1858, Shattuck-St. Mary’s School (SSM) has a long-standing reputation and standard of excellence, so when switching to a new Campus Alert and Notification System, excellence remained at the forefront of every decision made.
“In the fall of 2015, we started testing AOIP products that could distribute audio alerts to specific locations on campus, or campus-wide,” says Mark Olson, Director of Technology and Campus Safety.
“We are already in the final design of three more deployments of this solution to new construction on campus, and look forward to the ease of deployment using RDL Dante endpoints.”
Director of Technology & Campus Safety
Shattuck-St. Mary’s School
When searching for quality equipment, his AV “go-to guy,” Mike Lyddy from Innovative Presentations, settled on the Barix Instreamer/Extreamer platform before discovering RDL’s lineup of Dante products. These products offered “greater flexibility, easier configuration and management, and higher quality audio delivery, Mark says.
St. Mary’s School has three campuses – an athletic complex, golf course, and numerous outbuildings – and needed a more reliable system in place to issue threat alerts and general announcements to its constituents. Effective and reliable communication is essential at this college-prep independent boarding/day school, which serves 500 students from all over the world.
Mark says the new system will be used for: class-change bell tones, background audio for school events, mass notifications, and as a paging system for the school’s athletic complex.
“The possibilities are virtually endless due to the ability to patch sources and destinations on demand,” he adds.
This multi-building campus, set on 250 acres south of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, has traditional and progressive education at its core, and needed a notification system that would keep up with the success of its students.
The old system was unreliable with low coverage and needed an update.
The following RDL products were used in this new system (along with Valcom products, Viking, Barix, and QSYS products, as well as an Alertus Notification Software Platform and an Alertus Text To Speech Module): 36 FP-NML2P Network to Mic/Line Interfaces (classroom, hallways, public spaces, two zones – placed in data closets feeding the Valcom speakers); 7 RU-LB4P Line-Level Bi-Directional Network Interfaces (classroom/hallways/public spaces – four zones each); 4 RU-MLB4P Mic/Line Bi-Directional Network Interfaces (presentation areas – PA interface).
Installation began in June of 2016 and was completed in January of 2017. All audio in the school’s new system is routed through the QSC Q-SYS platform and distributed via Dante and QLAN to all of the individual end points.
“This allows us to utilize the same RDL endpoints for additional audio distribution in presentation spaces, arenas, auditoriums, common spaces, and even our clock tower,” Mark says.
Endpoint products include RDL’s FP-NML2P, RU-LB4P, and RU-MLB4P. The RU-MLB4P Mic/Line interfaces have been installed in the school’s presentation spaces to allow full audio control via Q-SYS for all inputs and outputs in those areas. The alert system piggybacks on those interfaces to override the program audio in the event of an alert. In addition, classrooms and hallways are fed signals using the FP-NML2P and terminating to more than 156 Valcom powered speakers.
“Being an end-to-end transport system, the RDL Dante interfaces have proven to be a very stable, yet flexible, solution for our immediate needs and anticipate future needs,” Mark says. “We are already in the final design of three more deployments of this solution to new construction on campus, and look forward to the ease of deployment using RDL Dante endpoints.”