Berwyn South School District 100’s mission is to provide positive and appropriate learning opportunities for each student. These opportunities foster the development of basic values, good citizenship and a sense of self-worth to enable students to be productive citizens in a rapidly changing world. School District 100 consists of eight elementary and middle schools spread throughout the suburb of Berwyn. Berwyn South School District 100 ranks within the top 25% of all districts in the State of Illinois. Pentegra Systems has been working with Berwyn South School District 100 for the past decade providing them with data, security and telecom solutions.
In 2017, the manufacturer of Berwyn South School District 100’s current phone system had deemed it obsolete. This meant there would be no way of getting service or replacement parts if something were to go wrong. Berwyn had no other choice, they needed to upgrade immediately. The challenge surrounding this telecom phone system installation had everything to do with scheduling. The entire district needed a new phone system up and running in a very short period of time. Pentegra had to be conscientious and organized in terms of scheduling, working during off hours to install this system since the phones could not be installed during the school day while classes were in session.
Pentegra Systems proposed a solution that would not only give them the same functionality of their previous system, but would include several cutting-edge features that School District 100’s previous system did not. Replacing their previous phone system with a new one took some reverse engineering. This meant examining their previous system, determining how it functioned and the features in place so Pentegra knew what to include and how to include it in the new system. What also made Pentegra Systems’ proposed new Shoretel phone system more appealing is that it would be much simpler to administer and control ongoing moves, adds and changes to the system itself in addition to making communication much easier throughout all of the schools in the district for both teachers and administrative staff.
The Shoretel phone system that Pentegra Systems installed consisted of over 400 telephones throughout their six elementary schools, two middle schools as well as Berwyn South School District 100’s District Office. These phones were either desk phones for administrative spaces or wall-mounted phones for the classrooms. Their new system was not just a telephone system, but a unified communications system. This system came with 911 Emergency Response features as well as mobility. Teachers and staff can integrate their mobile phones into this system so they can receive calls, access and listen to voicemail any time and any place as well as continue a conversation by simply picking up their mobile phone and hanging up their classroom or office phone for on-the-go convenience. Berwyn’s new Shoretel phone system also came with voice and web conferencing abilities to further communicate and collaborate with fellow teachers and staff by simply calling into a Shoretel conference call. This phone system is also integrated with the district’s email system to be able to access voicemail through their inbox making the possibilities for communication simpler, easier and more accessible.
Pentegra Systems proposed a telephone system solution that not only matched the ability of their previous system, but surpassed it in every way. Berwyn South School District 100 discovered that this Pentegra installed phone system was the superior choice in terms of pricing and features. Pentegra successfully installed this system for the entire district within the district’s small specified window and turned all of the schools over in a short three day period. Pentegra Systems has worked closely with Berwyn South School District 100 for the past decade and looks forward to many more years providing the district with their technology needs.
GEMS Education is an international education company that has been educating youths since 1959. GEMS has schools in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East and in 2014 GEMS opened their first school in the United States. GEMS World Academy Chicago educates students from Junior Kindergarten to the 12th grade. GEMS’ Chicago location will be split into two schools to house all grades. The first facility, which holds students from Junior Kindergarten to 5th grade, opened Fall 2014 and the second facility will begin construction to open in the near future. This 9 story building in the heart of Chicago’s Lake Shore East neighborhood places students in a prime location surrounded by beautiful parks, museums and government buildings. GEMS World Academy Chicago is an 82,000 square foot building housing classrooms, offices, a library, conference rooms, a robotics lab, cafeteria, indoor gymnasium and a rooftop playground.
Pentegra Systems initially was solicited to respond to an RFQ by GEMS World Academy. This unique project was not based on a hard consultant specification, but overall design criteria with the objective of giving the client the best solution to meet their needs. The goal of this AV system was to provide a state of the art education experience for all students attending that included all modern day technologies to further enhance the world class education that GEMS has become known for. The design team, composed of our expert engineers, designed and proposed a truly remarkable solution that met all of GEMS’ expectations. Working closely with GEMS, Erik Geiger of Shen Milsom Wilke, as well as Power Construction, Pentegra Systems set out to implement a system that could not only enhance the learning experience for all students through the interconnection of all classrooms within the facility, but connect all classrooms in the facility to any other GEMS classroom around the globe.
In order for GEMS World Academy Chicago to become a virtual portal to classrooms around the world, Pentegra Systems had to introduce cutting-edge technology able to handle such a task. Inside every classroom within GEMS’ Downtown Chicago location are two flat panel touch displays. One of these displays is dedicated towards instruction from the teacher using it for both presentations and demonstrations among other aspects of the everyday lesson plan. The other flat panel touch display in every classroom is used for student interactivity. These monitors are used for students to create projects, present class work, etc. All classroom flat panel displays have the capability to function as a digital dry erase board to easily edit and erase during class. Students can come up to the touch panels and participate in the curriculum whether it be completing a long division math problem on the digital dry erase board or going online to research the first World War for an upcoming presentation in class. The most prominent use for these touch panels is to act as a virtual doorway to other classrooms within the building, as well around the globe to other GEMS schools through video conferencing capabilities. A student inside the science room in Chicago can connect and collaborate with a student in Dubai conducting the same experiment seamlessly in real time.
The system Pentegra designed and installed also equipped the corridors with the very same touch panel displays. These monitors have several uses, including signage capabilities. The touch panels display important school information and content to both faculty and staff walking through the hallways on every floor. Staying in the realm of digital signage, these displays also become a virtual directory to passing students, teachers and visitors. They can display what rooms are located on every floor and provide direction to those rooms as well as where personnel are located. Creston control systems are used for students to easily access the touch panel displays in the hallways, temporarily disabling the digital signage. Using the tablets in the corridors, students can mirror any smartphone, computer or tablet onto the flat panel displays to share and collaborate with other students instantly converting the space into a huddle room of sorts. Once students are done using the touch panels in the hallway, the Creston control system automatically converts the display back into digital signage.
Every display possesses the same features so they all can become an impromptu learning area no matter the location inside GEMS World Academy. Being an educational institution, having every display capable of transforming any public area into a hub for learning was a very appealing aspect of Pentegra Systems’ solution. Content sharing is a significant aspect of this AV system. All touch panels have wireless desktop mirroring capabilities. Any user can wirelessly mirror their device’s display, Windows or Mac, straight onto any display inside the facility for easy sharing. Students and faculty can also easily share content from the corridor displays into any classroom display as well. Any content from any display can be sent down to the lobby and reception area which houses two flat panel displays of their own as well as a video wall consisting of four monitors. These displays within the lobby are entryways into the entire facility. In addition to their digital signage capabilities, parents contemplating enrolling their child in GEMS World Academy Chicago can sit in on any class going on at that moment through the video conferencing capabilities and get a good feel for what an average day is like at GEMS. In addition to the communication possibilities of the flat panel displays, Pentegra Systems also installed a building-wide paging system to seamlessly communicate from every room in the facility. The final piece of the AV system that we installed at GEMS World Academy is the sound system and projector inside the multipurpose room. This multipurpose room is initially GEMS’ gymnasium, but equipped with an overhead video projector. This enables the gymnasium to act as a theater, assembly hall or for any public gathering purpose. The sound systems in both the multi-purpose room as well as the cafeteria are controlled by Crestron, much like the touch panel displays in the corridors of GEMS.
Pentegra Systems created a system that elevates classroom interactivity to a global scale. With the possibilities that come with modern day technologies such as flat screen touch panels and video conferencing solutions, “sharing” in the classroom now goes further beyond just the classroom walls of GEMS World Academy Chicago. GEMS’ new state-of-the-art AV system enables communication and the transferring of information from room to room, floor to floor as well as country to country. Having worked closely with GEMS World Academy, Pentegra Systems created a revolutionary AV system that facilitates an already tech savvy generation of students and faculty. GEMS had a vision and Pentegra’s expertise made that vision a reality and will continue to ensure that vision continues to enhance children’s learning experiences for many years to come.
Founded in 1948 Community Unit School District 300 is located in the Fox River Valley in Chicago’s far northwest suburbs, headquartered in Carpentersville, IL. A constant population growth has expanded D300 by adding more than 20 new schools over the last six decades. Currently, District 300 features 27 total schools including a charter school and spans 118 square miles and 15 surrounding communities such as Pingree Grove and Sleepy Hollow. District 300 offers a dual language program for English and Spanish speakers, an award-winning music program as well as a broad selection of Advance Placement classes. More than 75 teachers employed by the district have received the prestigious National Board Certification. Educating nearly 21,000 students from preschoolers to 12th graders, Community Unit School District 300 is the 6th largest school district in the entire state of Illinois.
Always trying to ensure the safety of their students and faculty, Community Unit School District 300 wanted a system to provide mass notification alerts throughout their schools. Pentegra Systems submitted a proposal in response to a RFP issued by Community Unit School District 300 to best address their mass notification requirement. The challenge was to come up with a solution that would extend and modify the existing security systems in Dundee Crown, Jacobs and Hampshire High Schools. District 300 was looking for security improvements for when an emergency arises to notify not only the proper authorities, but also the faculty and students alike creating a form of lockdown situation to ensure the utmost safety at all times.
The solution that Pentegra Systems proposed, designed and successfully installed was an addition to their already operational security systems. Our solution utilized their existing telephone system, emergency call buttons underneath faculty desks as well as their paging system that was already in place. Pentegra integrated Emergency Lock Down Alert Systems into all three District 300 high schools without disrupting the already functional security measures that D300 utilizes. When an emergency situation arises authorities can be instantly notified either by pressing a panic button or dialing a specific code on any of the school’s telephones. This method of notification reduces response times to an absolute minimum. While notifying authorities, this mass notification system also notifies students and faculty of the very same emergency situation through the paging system.
Pentegra Systems installed nearly 100 blue strobe lights throughout Dundee Crown, Jacobs and Hampshire High Schools in all areas where the noise level is high and the PA system is not always heard. When the system is triggered the strobe lights are activated and begin flashing in all hallways and various classrooms throughout the schools. The striking bright blue strobe lights easily notify anyone in the area that there is currently an emergency and to move into their respective classrooms or offices as a safety precaution. In addition to the visual aspect of Pentegra’s solution, there is also an audio element. Pentegra Systems installed Mass Notification Announcers onto the existing Dukane Starcall™ and Valcom intercom systems. When this system is triggered, an audible recording is played utilizing the school’s public address intercom systems. This recording, recorded by school officials, notifies everyone that an emergency situation at hand, that authorities are on the way, as well as instructs everyone to make their way into their classrooms and close the doors.
As part of the proposed solution, Pentegra also trained the security administrator on how to fully operate the system and utilize it to its full potential. Through this training, D300 will remain in the best of care when protecting students and faculty. In addition to installing all strobe lights throughout the district, Pentegra Systems supplied and installed all cabling necessary to integrate this system linking it to the existing telephone systems, panic buttons and intercom systems of the district’s three high schools.
With safety being the number one priority and concern, the engineers at Pentegra Systems designed a solution that integrated an extremely necessary and beneficial security tool into Community Unit School District 300’s already existing security systems. Protecting students and faculty are critical in times of emergencies within a school and immediately notifying authorities is crucial. This Mass Notification System ensures the protection and safety of everyone within the building as well as alerts the proper authorities to respond. Through Pentegra Systems’ solution, Dundee Crown, Jacobs and Hampshire High Schools will continue to be protected whenever an emergency may strike.
Main System Components:
• 99 LED Strobe Lights
• 3 Mass Notification Announcers
• 3 Digital Recording/Playback Device
• 3 Telephone Interface to the Existing Phone System
• 3 School Intercom Interface to the Existing Intercom System
• 3 Intrusion Alarm Interface to the Existing Alarm System
• 190dB Horn
The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 30,000 teachers and personnel of the Chicago Public Schools system and has been doing so for more than 75 years. In 2014, CTU announced that it would be moving their offices from the Merchandise Mart to a newly renovated three-story, 70,000 square foot facility in the heart of the city’s West Side.
Pentegra Systems, working closely with Threshold Acoustics, provided a solution to introduce and implement technologies that Chicago Teachers Union did not have previously in their former headquarters. This specification included technologies that enhanced everyday operations, collaboration, leisure, interactivity and future events within the facility. The goal of this project was to provide a state of the art audiovisual system for all in-house Chicago Teachers Union staff as well as visitors to the new headquarters. In order to accomplish this, Pentegra Systems worked with Threshold Acoustics to create a robust network that was capable of withstanding all of the video traffic from the several encoders in this complex audiovisual system.
When you enter Chicago Teachers Union’s new facility on the West Side, you walk right into the lobby area and Pentegra’s AV installation immediately stands out. Inside the lobby you will see a large 70” wall mounted display. This display can be used for digital signage as well as displaying any content from any device using the various connections on the AV wall plates. Every aspect of this display is controlled via a wall mounted touch screen. The lobby is quite spacious and can hold a fair amount of personnel. The most important function of the lobby area is to hold impromptu press conferences. In the designated press conference area, there are floor pockets featuring inputs for microphones, as well as AV wall plates with audio feeds available to members of the press. The ceiling is fitted with a ceiling mounted speaker system as well as wireless microphones to easily facilitate any press conference instantly.
As you begin to make your way past the lobby you will venture into a large assembly hall. This is a multipurpose space and can hold any event CTU hosts. It is a venue with high ceilings and if you look closely you will see Pentegra’s presentation system. In the ceiling there are two dual-lamp digital projectors. Those projectors display content onto the two motorized 189” diagonal projection screens that are located just above the stage. Each projector has the ability to show its own image so you can have two different projections on the screens at once. This presentation system is also controlled via a wall mounted touch screen control system. Located on the north side of the assembly hall are two HD indoor PTZ cameras. These cameras can capture any happenings going on inside the assembly hall and can directly send that video to the overhead projectors, perfect for the audience to see presenters giving a speech or any other happenings on the stage. Around the ceiling projectors you will also see ceiling speakers that provide all the sounds necessary to facilitate any event CTU may hold. The audio is controlled by a mixer that can be totally controlled via an iPad. AV wall plates are also located in the assembly hall complete with microphone inputs and speaker outputs as well as AV data jacks to show content on the projector via external devices.
Pentegra also installed presentation systems in various conference rooms as well as classrooms throughout the Chicago Teachers Union headquarters. The majority of these conference rooms are equipped with 70” interactive flat panel displays. These displays take conferencing to the next level whether it is meeting with colleagues in the same room or anywhere around the world. These displays come equipped with video conferencing abilities complete with built in cameras making distance a nonfactor when it comes to meetings. These interactive displays are also digital whiteboards. You can create and annotate with the greatest of ease using this technology. These displays are all easily controlled via the tabletop touch screen control panels. There is also a pop-up module at the center of all conference tables that contains both power and interactivity connections. This allows the user to hook up a device such as a laptop and transmit that display onto the wall mounted 70” inch display for convenience. In the rooms that do not contain these displays, Pentegra installed one or multiple short throw projectors. These projectors are all also controlled via wall mounted touch screen and project onto wall mounted motorized projection screens. These are perfect for displaying content such as presentations, videos or any content necessary in a conference room or classroom setting. The audio is supported via either ceiling mounted speakers or in the case of the rooms with interactive displays, a sound bar located right below the flat panel.
One of the major highlights of this project is the third floor boardroom. The most important meetings need top-of-the-line equipment that is also easy to use and Pentegra Systems delivered such a solution. This boardroom consists of an 84” flat panel display equipped with a camera right below it pointing towards the boardroom table to get a perfect view of all board members for videoconferencing capabilities. On the boardroom table sit unique tabletop small disc-shaped wired microphones. These mics are easily operable with LED lights, green meaning the mic is live and red meaning the mic is offline. All aspects of this system can be controlled either from the wall mounted touch panel or the tabletop mini touch screen.
Pentegra Systems created a system that brings Chicago Teachers Union into the 21st Century of audiovisual capabilities. In the world of education, collaboration is key and this system provides countless possibilities to collaborate and improve not only education, but also business. Although they are teachers, even teachers never stop learning and this system facilitates further learning opportunities with a wide range of collaboration and meeting spaces highlighted by the audiovisual technologies Pentegra Systems installed. Pentegra Systems saw the vision that Chicago Teachers Union had for their brand new facility and professionally engineered and executed this installation to make their vision become a reality.
Marquardt School District 15 is rapidly growing and changing. Situated in Glendale Heights in DuPage County, Illinois, the District serves four communities and includes approximately 2,700 students in four elementary schools, as well as Marquardt Middle School.
District 15 is a leader in integrating technology and communication systems into learning environments. The District is committed to using technology as an “authentic learning tool” in classrooms. Administrators chose Pentegra Systems as their IBM business partner because of our extensive technology expertise and our consistent record for delivering effective solutions to the District.
The District’s long-term plan includes implementing unified web-based learning tools for students and teachers. This required thoughtful design and implementation of their data network. To adequately support the ambitious one-to-one computing project, the network would require powerful, state-of-the art servers.
Marquardt developed their system around a private cloud intranet. To function seamlessly with the district’s cloud-based applications and data, each user’s experience and access would have to be identical across devices.
To accommodate the ever-increasing computer processing and storage needs of Marquardt’s web-based learning tools, Pentegra Systems collaborated with the District’s IT staff on a selection of robust IBM xSeries servers and the DS series SAN.
We installed innovative and cost-efficient IBM xSeries servers, which offer breakthrough architecture for processor performance, memory capacity, expandability, redundancy and reliability. The xSeries consistently provides the exceptional performance needed to bring District applications into the cloud.
We also consulted with IBM system engineers to ensure the proper and most productive configuration for our client’s needs. Moreover, IBM worked with us to stay within Marquardt’s budget.
Throughout the school year, the District benefits from Pentegra’s expert installation and system management. It also benefits from IBM xSeries servers and IBM DS storage systems, as well as IBM’s performance, engineering, flexibility, reliability, service and cost effectiveness.
The xSeries 3000 multi processors, expandable memory and hard drives allow the District to preserve their investment, even as processing and storage needs exponentially increase over the years. Their data infrastructure is robust, expandable and flexible to meet future needs. IBM proved to be a reliable and efficient partner, with open standards when Marquardt required servers to have 10Gb connectivity to their existing LAN and WAN.
Since implementation, Marquardt has become a recognized leader for successfully incorporating advanced technology into education. In fact, many District 15 schools have received Academic Excellence Awards for significant student achievement in math and reading test scores.
Standardized systems and centralized management of IBM solutions by Pentegra Systems allows for consistency within the schools, and frees up time for teachers, staff and students to focus on education. The partnership between Marquardt, Pentegra Systems and IBM is strong, as each entity provides an essential component to integrate leading technology with education.
“We are always looking for platforms to fit the application. We were looking for a server to support the Helix Media and couldn’t find anything. Then IBM came out with the X5 and it was like they read our minds. It was a perfect fit.”
Marquardt School District
“Expandability and the ability to add memory, hard drives and extra processors allow us to increase performance by maintaining our investment.”
Director of Technology
Marquardt School District
Northern Illinois University, established in 1899, is a public research university located in DeKalb, Illinois, United States, with satellite centers in Hoffman Estates, Naperville, Rockford, and Oregon. Within the University is the Duke Ellington Ballroom, well known for being the site of the bandleader’s last full concert before his death in 1974. As a tribute to Duke Ellington’s legacy and his fine performances at the University, the ballroom was renamed in his honor in 1980. The ballroom hosts all types of events from career days and conferences to piano recitals and wedding receptions. As the facility went through an extensive cosmetic renovation, Pentegra Systems partnered with the electrical contractor Kelso-Burnett and the acoustics and AV consulting firm Talaske Group to engineer and implement a versatile audio and video presentation system.
Given an aggressive project schedule, the AV system implementation required accurate procurement and efficient coordination with all of the other on-site trades. Due to the structure and setup of the ballroom, precise alignment of all the screens, lifts and projectors was crucial to the success of the system. Moreover, the system had to effectively accommodate a variety of different events that would be held in the ballroom.
Pentegra installed an integrated system that consists of a concert quality sound structure based around the ballroom’s main stage. The entire system incorporates a distributed sound system with high-performance ceiling speakers, three commercial grade video projectors on ceiling lifts with seven different projection screens, expanded jack/plate infrastructure, head-end equipment and a Crestron touchscreen control system. The audio and video systems can be activated and configured for different events using the custom Crestron controls. The sound systems were carefully calibrated using SmaartLIVE software, while the video systems were calibrated by an ISF-certified Pentegra systems engineer using Sencore test equipment.
Pentegra integrated a versatile AV system that would be reliable for many years to come. The multipurpose space is properly equipped with superior AV systems to be used for any event that may take place in the ballroom. Maintained by Pentegra Systems, a continued positive experience for the client as well as guests and visitors of the ballroom is guaranteed.
Benedictine University was founded originally in Chicago in 1887, though has been situated on its present 108-acre campus in the western suburb of Lisle since 1901. In 2012, The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked Benedictine University as the No.1 fastest-growing campus in the country among private nonprofit research universities between 2000-2010. To meet the demands of a growing student population, the university recognized a need for a new multi-purpose sports complex.
The Village of Lisle Benedictine Sports Complex includes a 3,000 seat lighted stadium with a multi-purpose field for football, soccer and lacrosse, as well as an Olympic-size competition track, a 1,000-seat lighted baseball field, a lighted softball field, concession area, press boxes, meeting rooms and suites. The complex is used by Benedictine University, Benet Academy, Lisle High School and the DuPage Dragons. An effective system required even distribution of sound, while maintaining the integrity of the sound despite various other noises associated with crowds, sporting events, etc.
Pentegra Systems designed a system that would evenly distribute sound to all areas of the sports complex. The 3,000-seat stadium uses fifteen weather-treated SX300PI speakers driven by Crown CTS series amplifiers to deliver sound above the crowd noise to the stands and field. EViD series speakers provide sound coverage to the concession & concourse areas as well as the control booth & suites. Sound for the baseball and softball fields is provided by weather-treated SX300PI speakers also driven by Crown CTS series amplifiers. Marantz combination CD/Cassette components play their choice of media and Biamp provides the digital signal processing. The sports complex also uses a variety of wired and wireless Shure microphones.
Benedictine University has supported its continual growth through the state-of-the-art sports complex, customized by Pentegra Systems to meet every requirement. Expectations were exceeded in the ease of use, clarity, and quality of the new system. Moreover, the system is maintained and serviced by Pentegra Systems to address any future concerns.
Located 75 miles east of Chicago in New Buffalo, Michigan, Four Winds Casino Resort was the first land-based casino in Southeast Michigan. The entertainment complex is composed of a 130,000 square foot casino, a 165-room suite hotel, six restaurants, entertainment bars and retail shops. Four Winds ...