When Sunny Shergill was named technical theatre director at Clayton Valley Charter High School (CVCHS), he returned to his alma mater determined to give students the best training possible at the high school level. With an aging wireless intercom system that was struggling to make the grade, Shergill convinced school officials to purchase a CrewCom wireless intercom system from Pliant Technologies.
Clayton Valley Charter High School is a tuition-free, public charter school located in Concord, CA. For Shergill, his goal in acquiring the CrewCom system was two-fold. “First, our school wanted to provide the students in our Tech program with industry standard equipment and the best hands-on experience possible,” says Shergill. “Secondly, we required full campus coverage. We run multiple events on the same day at various locations and we needed to be able to deploy our communication system throughout the campus, which is very large. With our old system, every time we did an event, we needed to disassemble our rack or have a rolling rack, which was difficult. When the decision was made to find something that would fit our needs better; I knew we needed to look at Pliant and its CrewCom system.”
Shergill first came across Pliant’s CrewCom system at an industry conference and was immediately intrigued. “We knew about Pliant and CrewCom, but we didn’t know enough to pull the trigger. We did a lot of research and reached out to industry friends and colleagues who helped convince us CrewCom was the way to go,” adds Shergill. “Ultimately, what sold us was the CrewCom system’s frequency band. CrewCom runs in the 900MHz frequency and being in a high school, our IT department appreciated the fact that we weren’t adding more 2.4GHz antennas all over the place. The number of packs that we could get on a single Radio Transceiver [RT] and how incredibly easy the RTs are to deploy also played a vital role in choosing CrewCom.”
CVCHS purchased one CrewCom Control Unit (CU) that is centrally located on campus, six Radio Transceivers that are located throughout the campus via Cat 6 and fiber, 12 Radio Packs along with Pliant headsets. The CrewCom system is quite busy at CVCHS. In addition to the schools’ five theatrical productions each year, the system is also used at the stadium for football games, in the gymnasium, pep rallies, the outdoor amphitheater and several one-off events including variety shows and student leadership clubs.
“We are definitely utilizing our CrewCom system quite a bit,” adds Shergill. “We don’t run a show or event without it. CrewCom is put through the paces on a daily basis. Students drop them, they fall off belts, get knocked off tables and we have not had any fails from damage. In addition, the audio clarity is super clear. We utilize the CrewCom during football games and our comms are a lot clearer than whatever the coaches are using. We can hear on top of thunderous cheering, loud marching bands, and blaring PA speakers, all with clarity and without any issues. It’s a cost-effective solution that has quickly turned out to be a great purchase.”
In addition to its regular use on campus, Shergill has also found another potentially very important use. According to Shergill, “The CrewCom system is in our emergency plan as a back-up communication device for the campus. Because the CrewCom system is deployed campus wide, we added it on to our emergency preparedness plan just in case our existing radio system goes down and we still need to communicate with our campus security or administration. We are finding new uses for it as we go.”