Advanced Systems Group (ASG), a video, data, audio and film integration firm, announced work is complete on a $6,000,000 production space designed by ASG that serves as the new home of the Bay Area Digital Arts Academy (BADA) for California’s San Lorenzo Unified School District. Located at San Lorenzo High School, the facility includes a 3,100-square-foot NC25 sound stage, production control room, audio control room, voiceover/ADR recording studio, editing classroom, production offices, and private edit suites.
Lance McVay, director of the BADA Academy, said ASG was involved in the project from the beginning. “They assisted with the original grant application to the state and have been involved ever since,” he explained. “Their work and assistance have been vital to the success of the project.”
The BADA program provides media production training, access to professional work sites, and potential internships for its students. It moved to San Lorenzo High School in 2003, where McVay had been teaching television production classes in a converted auto shop since the mid-1990s. The new facility was funded through a state Career Technical Education Facilities grant, for which ASG provided the technical, acoustical and equipment specifications, and matching funds from a 2008 bond measure. After BADA was awarded the grant, ASG was awarded the contract to design the facility with San Francisco-based RLS as part of its team. Thresher Communication & Productivity of Sunnyvale, CA, handled equipment installation and integration.
The new studio includes three Panasonic AJ-HPX3100 studio cameras connected over SMPTE fiber with Autoscript prompters, an 18-foot lighting grid, cyc wall, curtain track with green screen, video production control, audio production control, machine room, ADR/VO booth and talent green room. A loading bay with wide doors allows space to bring vehicles into the studio for commercial shoots.
McVay said the school never had an actual control room before. All “live-to-tape” productions were actually constructed in an edit suite. The new facility’s control room is built around a Snell Kahuna Flare 2 M/E production switcher, Miranda routing and Compix two-channel CG, with audio control based around a Yamaha DM2000 digital audio console with Genelec 5.1 monitoring.
There are four individual edit suites, plus an editing lab with 36 NLE stations with Adobe CS6 and Final Cut Pro connected to Harmonic Media Grid shared storage. The facility also includes a conference room, teacher office, prop and wardrobe storage, equipment room, and production offices for students to emulate a working studio environment. “My vision was to do it right,” McVay said. “It’s not a studio built for a high school, it’s a studio built for professional production that students run.”
Construction began on the facility in late 2012, and the building had its official ribbon-cutting ceremony last month. McVay said the program will transition into the new facility before the end of the school year, and the studio will be available for rental by regional businesses.
With the center complete, ASG is now working in the local production community to connect Bay Area artists and businesses. “Our goal is to help Lance attract guest speakers and internship opportunities for BADA students,” said Dave Van Hoy, president, ASG. “In the 35 years I have been helping build facilities at K-12 schools, this is the most sophisticated and realistic environment we have ever been able to provide for students. The goal for BADA is for the space to be used to produce professional media projects, which will provide invaluable experience to students looking to pursue a career in the digital arts or entertainment fields.”
“They [ASG] worked hard to be sure the facility met the needs of my students and curriculum, while paying close attention to maintaining a high industry standard so the students could learn in a professional environment,” said McVay.