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Ford AV Builds a State-of-the Art Video Production Studio for Utah’s Second Largest School District

CI’s 2018 Integrator of the Year Ford AV helps students gain hands-on experience with a state-of-the-art video production studio.

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Ford AV Builds a State-of-the Art Video Production Studio for Utah’s Second Largest School District
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Ford AV, the Oklahoma City, Okla.-headquartered commercial integrator was asked by the second largest school district in Utah, the Davis School District, to design and install student video and audio production spaces for its new Career and Technical Education School called the Catalyst Center 

Ford AV’s Catalyst Center project included a state-of-the-art video production studio with a 20 foot-wide x 10 foot-high curved LED (1.58 MM pixel pitch) virtual production screen, with camera motion tracking and focus integration using Unreal Engine, LED studio lighting, a video control room, separate audio-for-video control room and screening room to review the students’ finished projects.  

For audio production, the facility includes one primary recording suite, four editing suites, one Foley stage, one editing computer training lab and additional extensive video and audio production gear. 

Getting the Catalyst Center Contract 

The Davis School District reached out to Ford AV in April of 2021 as one of several integrators holding a state purchasing contract for AV services with the state of Utah. About 15 school officials were invited to participate in the proposal interviews and Ford AV sent their local sales manager, project manager, and chief sales engineer to make a presentation.  

The School District members were impressed with the passion of Ford AV. One thing the national integration firm did differently from other bidders was that they visited the construction site of the new school before their interview with the client, which was not done by the other integrators. Ultimately, Ford AV was chosen and invited to provide the design and installation for the $1.2 million Catalyst Center project. 

The Catalyst Center 

The Catalyst Center is a technical high school for the Davis District in Kaysville, Utah. The district had a vision for a production space for its students that would allow them to experience and utilize technology to prepare them for careers in the video and audio production industry.  

The Catalyst Center has education, industry and businesses provide input as to how the facility and technology should be designed and built. Today, the Catalyst Center has very close ties with local businesses and industry and shares its resources providing students with real-life opportunities to learn, practice and showcase their video and audio production skills. 

Addressing the Challenges 

Timelines were very short, especially with supply chain shortages, but Ford AV immediately engaged and began providing design direction as well as ordering equipment. A few design shifts from the architect’s original plans were necessary but Ford AV put in place a detailed plan to get the project implemented within the customer’s timeframe.  

For example, the lighting that had been specified for the video studio was appropriate for live performances but not for a video production environment. Ford AV ensured that the correct lighting grid and lighting fixtures for the space were provided and installed.  

Despite the fact that Ford AV was contracted directly by the School District, constant coordination was necessary with the architect, the general contractor and other construction trades on the job site.  

Ford AV’s Job Superintendent and Project Manager communicated effectively, ensuring seamless progress was made. Ford also ensured that an ample amount of manpower resources with appropriate expertise were applied to the project, ensuring Ford’s portion of the installation would be complete and school instructors trained in time for classes to begin on January 19, 2022.  

A Learning Hub for All 

The Davis School District could not be more pleased with Ford AV’s design and installation. Tours of the Catalyst Center are conducted on a weekly basis, receiving much interest from other school districts nationwide and from businesses and industry members alike. Local businesses in the area are interested in not only in using the facility’s resources but hiring its students with the expertise they are gaining at the Catalyst Center. 

Equipment Highlights  

  • Absen A2715 PLUS,1.58MM 
  • AJA 12GSDI TO HDMI2.0 CONVERTER 
  • Apantac VIDE, SDI TO HDMI/DVI CONVERTER 
  • Clearcom INTE,SINGLE MUFF HEADSET W/XLR 
  • JBL Subwoofer
  • LG displays
  • Sony Bravia 4k UHD 

 To view additional photos of Ford AV’s installation at The Catalyst Center, click “view slideshow” in the upper right-hand corner.