New York Law School Spends $190 million on Expansion Project
The school has been dedicated to providing diverse routes to achievement through innovation in scholarship, service and professional training since its inception in 1891. By 1904, it was one of the largest law schools in America. Distinguished alumni have achieved prominence in the bar, the judiciary, government and business. Some have gone on to serve as Supreme Court Justices, founding members of some of the world’s most prestigious law firms and government dignitaries.
The school’s motto “Learn law. Take action.” effectively captures the institution’s commitment to teach students to use the skills and knowledge they develop as lawyers to do something valuable for the benefit of others. By fostering an internal culture that embraces innovation and creativity, the law school encourages students to develop the ability to adapt to new situations and to graduate with a commitment to a lifetime of learning.
In August 2006, New York Law School broke ground on an ambitious $190 million expansion has nearly double the size of its TriBeCa campus and transformed it into a cohesive architectural complex. The centerpiece of the project is a new glass-enclosed, 235,000-square-foot, nine-level building — five stories above ground and four below — which integrates with the school’s existing three buildings.
Audio visual technology is integrated into each of the school’s dozen classrooms and seven seminar rooms, as well as the event space and auditorium. The project’s design team led by VVA Project Management and Consulting, selected Cerami and Associates, an audio visual and acoustical consulting firm located in New York City, to create the overall design of the audiovisual systems. Through a competitive bid process and extensive interviews with potential AV system integrators, HB Communications was selected as the most qualified to provide and install the AV systems.
Each room could display computer-generated images onto a screen through the use of ceiling-mounted Mitsubishi video projectors. Instructors could utilize their laptops or the computer built into the instructor’s station to display materials. Wireless mice and keyboards provide the interface to the instructor’s computer and loudspeakers concealed in the ceiling are used for audio reproduction. The rooms feature wall-mounted remote touch-controlled, interactive panels that allow the instructor to control lighting, window shades and projection screens – as well as the audio visual equipment. The classrooms have an additional remote control panel on the instructor’s station that provides a greater level of control over the technology.
In addition to all of the dynamic features featured in the seminar rooms, the classrooms include the ability to record lectures, presentations and meetings on video. A remote caller could also join the class via telephone. The caller is heard through the room’s sound system and the instructor and students can easily interact with him/her. The classrooms also contain an interactive annotation panel, located on the teacher’s station, which allows professors to annotate any content being displayed on the Mitsubishi projector. Instructors can project a lesson, navigate a website, advance slides, write notes and save the screen for posting or distribution. The interactive panel also serves as the media display for the integrated computer.
Two of the classrooms are set up as moot courtrooms, which simulate real courtrooms and enables students to use the spaces to hone their skills. Microphones are strategically placed around the courtroom to capture all of the dialogue and interaction while wall-mounted cameras capture video of all proceedings.
Additionally, student desks are equipped with microphones which allow them to ask questions of the participants in the moot session as well as any remote callers that may have joined the proceedings electronically. And all dialogue can be recorded and archived.
One of the more impressive spaces in the new building is the auditorium. A space that seats more than 300 people, the auditorium contains a wealth of the latest AV technology arranged for the faculty to use effectively.
The AV technology implemented was designed and configured so that the space can be used unsupported by technical staff for simple presentations. Many of the room’s features are automated so that the presenter doesn’t need prior knowledge or training in order to take advantage of the technology available. However, the space can easily accommodate more complex meetings that may involve recording of the proceedings, multiple presenters, audience participation, remote participants over video and audio and other technology requirements.
The auditorium’s primary screen measures nearly 20-feet wide by 11-feet high -- large enough to give each audience member a clear view of the screen by the 6,000 lumen projector hanging from the ceiling.
The rear half of the space features a pair of ceiling-mounted screens and Mitsubishi projectors as well as speech reinforcement through ceiling loudspeakers. The front half of the auditorium includes microphones built into each student’s desk. The microphones are part of a sophisticated “push to talk” sound system that keeps track of who has requested to speak and activates the microphone when it is that student’s turn. Indicator lights on the microphone panel signal red to wait and green to speak.