Bill Gillespie Electric, Inc. completes the electrical portion of this beautiful 19,565 sq.ft. arts campus in November 2015. Located in Easton, PA, this Film & Media Studies/Theater Building will enhance artistic opportunities for all Lafayette students and add to Easton's cultural resources. The addition houses a black box theater, box office, state-of-the-art cinema, control room, smart classroom, dressing rooms, and scene and costume shops.
The state-of-the-art black box theater has a computerized lighting and sound system. The computerized console, located in the control room, allows the stage manager to control the stage lighting and special effects for any type of production. The lighting system consists of four lighting relay panels and a control rack. Control of the theater lights is accomplished through a low voltage DMX wiring system mounted 4 stores above grade. Wiring emanating from the dimmer room on the second floor had to be routed above seating area to control 72 lighting circuits and 12 chain motors for raising and lowering scenery battens. In addition, associated Blue LED theater work lighting networked throughout the 3 levels of catwalk to ensure staff visibility when walking in this pitch black space. Two company switches, 100 AMP and 400 AMP, are located to facilitate the needs of any visiting theater company. With the theater seating up to 200 and a 180-seat film-screening room, the stage lighting required installation of superior quality and strategic placement to capture the visibility, motivation, composition, and mood that their lighting requires.
The project was very lighting intensive, encompassing well over 50 different types of lighting fixtures, all utilizing LED light sources to help keep the building as green as possible. All house lighting was controlled via a Lutron Grafik Eye system with wired and wireless switches, occupancy sensors, and controls.
Electrically, this project presented its challenges due to the building's location on a flood plain, calculating pre-planning was of importance. This required all electrical service equipment to be located on the 3rd floor to allow for common flooding while ensuring uninterrupted electrical power. In addition, the backup generator had to be placed on the roof of the building for the same reasons.
The building is serviced by an 800 AMP, 480 volts, 3 Phase distribution system located in the third floor electric room. Power is distributed through two main distribution panelboards, fifteen power and lighting panels, and two inverters for emergency lighting. A 20KW roof mounted emergency generator was supplied and connected to an emergency panel.
A voice evacuation fire alarm system was installed to protect the building along with access control, closed circuit TV surveillance and intrusion alarm systems.
This eleven-month project required close coordination via BIM modeling and extensive layout detail to ensure the electrical systems were integrated with the work of other trades. This extremely unique building came in at an electrical total cost of just under $1.5 million.