Ashgate Croft is a large school on the outskirts of Chesterfield, offering a full range of opportunities for over 140 children and students with special needs aged 3 to 19 years.
The school approached Experia when it wanted to upgrade its existing pool, built in 1973, to new state of the art facilities. The main objective was to design a pool large enough to enable pupils of any age to be unrestricted, whilst also enabling the school to raise revenue by being able to hire out the facility to other groups.
The Experia team were asked to supply and install an 'all singing, all dancing' interactive sound and light system like no other. Top priorities for the school were that it should add a new, fun dimension to pool as well as being fully interactive, with pupils able to control the environment from anywhere within the water. Teachers also needed to use the area for educational purposes. As a result some detailed, creative design and planning was called for to ensure the room would meet and exceed all expectations.
The pool was designed to include an industry first - the IRiS Pool Director software recently developed by Experia. The ground-breaking software features 50 pre-set activities that allow light, sound, fog, vibration, aroma and video projection to be controlled in a predetermined manner to develop important life skills.
Designed by and in conjunction with special needs professionals, some of the activities have been made to develop tracking skills, encourage movement, develop switching skills, theming, calming, alerting and encourage the pupils to have fun - all controlled by a special, water safe touchscreen monitor.
The easy to use software also allows the user to create their own activities for every need and so offered fantastic scope for what the school wanted to achieve.
A number of IRiS Light Changers and IRiS Shape Projectors were used to flood the pool with light and rotating colour shapes. IRiS Projectors and Mirror Balls were used to add to the ambience of the room while an IRiS scanner -producing eight different colours and shapes which move to music - was added as a brilliant way to develop tracking and basic recognition skills.
Due to the size and acoustics of the pool area, a high specification Bose sound system was also installed to ensure a clear crisp sound time after time.
The designs incorporated the IRiS wirefree switching system, to ensure no potentially dangerous cables or tubes are used in the area. This included a number of IRiS Floating Switches allowing the pupils to control the lighting, sound, and video, aroma from anywhere in the pool.
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