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Pressley Ridge
School for the Deaf & Autism

The Pressley Ridge School for Deaf & Autism is developing a new academic facility designed to meet the precise needs of students with autism and hearing impairments. The program of the new building will facilitate collaborative, accessible learning for students while providing them with specific amenities to foster a safe, adaptive, and dynamic learning environment that accommodates diverse learning styles.

BrightTree Studios is providing a full scope of services for the educational facility; AV, IT/telecommunications, and security designs have been carefully developed to deliver a secure, nurturing, guided educational/technology experience for students in every space.

A high-level visual urgent notification system will operate on displays in all classrooms and conference rooms once an alert is activated, even if projectors/TVs are shut down during the emergency. The displays will broadcast the specific alert message (overriding programs already running on displays that are in use) with clear instructions.

For example, when an administrator presses the “Fire” button via a desk touch panel, the message on each display might read, “Fire alarm in progress. This is NOT a test. Please evacuate the building immediately.” Similar messages have been developed for Active Shooter and Tornado alerts.

The program includes versatile, multipurpose technology for a STEAM classroom, an exercise room, a culinary classroom, three conference rooms, six autism classrooms, six deaf classrooms, six observation rooms, and digital signage for the lobby.

Both the STEAM classroom and the culinary classroom will incorporate a 75” interactive display mounted at the head of the room for all-purpose education in a collaborative environment. With the same technology, the autism and deaf classrooms will feature specialized programming to accommodate the needs of specific groups of students. In the exercise room, a ceiling-recessed, 5,400-lumen laser projector will be mounted and protected by a security cage. The system can project content from a connected laptop, and a supplementary audio system will consist of pendant speakers and a wireless microphone.

The observation rooms, situated between every two classrooms, will allow staff, families, and other professionals to observe students while they learn, and a panel in each room allows users to manage audio feed from the classrooms.

Each conference room will contain a 70” flat panel display, as well as a wall-mounted camera, a control panel, connectivity capabilities, and ceiling speakers, all unified by a rack in a credenza in the room, allowing for seamless video conferencing and simple, intuitive content sharing during meetings.

This design relies on network switches, wireless access points, and structured cabling, all part of a comprehensive IT system that spans throughout the school. The mail room, along with all exterior doors, vestibules, stairwells, elevators, administrative suites, and classrooms will require card access, and the security system will tie into the fire alarm system, with “press to exit” buttons provided where required. The scope also includes two walk-through metal detectors, 13 indoor surveillance cameras, and eight exterior cameras for added security.

The project is slated to be completed before the 2019-2020 academic year.


ClientPressley RidgeLocationPittsburgh, PACompletionEst. Summer 2019Size30,000 SFMarketEducation, Special EducationServicesAudiovisual, IT, Security: Planning & Programming; Systems Design; Construction Administration; Bid Management; System Commissioning and Testing

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