When it comes to audio-visual systems, the new Coronado Elementary School campus is award winning.
On Sept. 13, Lloyd F. McKinney Associates, Inc. was among winners of Project Excellence Awards from the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), Northern CA Chapter, for its work at Coronado Elementary.
For the new $27 million campus that opened in August last year, Lloyd F. McKinney Associates, Inc. installed audio-visual systems in 31 classrooms.
The system brings the technology of modern teaching to Coronado Elementary, where teachers can display what’s on their desktop computers, including the Internet, on a projector mounted on their teaching walls. The technology also has a touch-sensor allowing teachers to use their fingers as basically a keyboard or mouse on the projector. They can also make annotations on the screen.
Lloyd F. McKinney Associates also installed a portable sound system and an assisted listening system in the school auditorium.
The technology wasn’t mainly what made the project unique, but rather the work of contractors and school officials to build a modern campus at a much-needed school that had been threatened with closure over budget cuts, said Project Manager Ty McKinney.
Richmond City Council partnered with the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) to identify the funds to save the school. Soon after, voters passed a $380 million bond measure to repair and rebuild aging district schools, including the then 60-year-old Coronado Elementary.
Along with the award-winning audio-visual system, the building features a free health clinic and dental office that offer low-income students care so they can miss less classroom-time, along with a computer lab and outdoor garden classroom, among other modern amenities.
McKinney believes all of those new amenities has brought an equity to learning for the school’s students, a majority of whom come from low-income families.
A collaborative effort to not just build the school, but to build it correctly, helped earn his firm an award, McKinney added. He credited WCCUSD Chief Technology Officer Mary Phillips and WHM Inc. Project Manager Tiffany Kane as instrumental in coming up with the campus technology blueprint.
“On the construction side, the architect and consultant are tried and true,” McKinney said. “They were all good contractors…it was the energy of giving a clean, quality campus to kids that really need it. It was just, Let’s do this right.”
And judges for the Project Excellence Awards — which included experienced building inspectors — noticed. The award wasn’t just about the quality of the tech, but also the quality of the work to install it.
“The new technology has opened up a whole new way of reaching students who are now more engaged and inspired,” according to NECA, which recognized the school district and a number of other firms for their roles in the project.
Read NECA’s full statement here.
Middle photo of Coronado auditorium: Andrew deLory, deLory Photography