Sunningdale School is a brand new, specialist school in Sunderland for children with severe, profound, and multiple learning difficulties. Covering pupils from ages 2 through to 11 it provides learning and support for the pupils themselves as well as parents, carers, and families.

Blaydon Communications Limited ( were employed to provide a written specification and system design for a comprehensive public address and integrated background music system across the site for inclusion in the planning and tender stage. Due to the complexities of the systems this led to many contractors asking to subcontract the works to Blaydon Communications who are seen as a leading specialist in this sector.

With over 160 loudspeakers being used across a total of 12 wired zones the choice of amplifier for the project was going to be challenging. The lack of confirmed zoning needs made power expectations difficult to confirm but the use of Cloud Electronics power sharing multizone amplifiers saved the day!

For the general public address zones, a CA8125 was used. Possessing the ability to deliver up to 1000 watts of power across 8 zones meant that this unit was ideal. The power sharing design meant that final exact loadings were not important at the planning stage, allowing the installation to be flexible enough to meet any minor changes for the client. The ability to feed both low and high impedance loads came in handy too when the use of a room changed to music teaching and low impedance loudspeakers were used to give that extra tonal quality required for great music reproduction.

In addition to the general speech zones, there were some challenging spaces in the project too. Loudspeakers were chosen to provide a suitable output in the space, but the requirement for potential fine tuning was apparent too. To solve this problem, a Cloud Electronics CV8125 was installed. Offering the same 1000 watt loading across 8 zones the amplifier was perfect for our purposes. The built in digital sound processing abilities allowed fine tuning of each zone to really refine and perfect the sound quality. Although only 4 channels were used, the 8-channel amplifier was used to provide a level of expansion for any future requirements without the need to swap out any equipment.

A huge part of this project was the requirement for individual music within certain areas and rooms of the school. The requirement was for a wired input for both microphone and music sources, along with a Bluetooth connection too. The music was only to play into the local area of the input facility to allow focussed sessions to be held for groups or individual pupils. To provide this facility an LM-2W plate was combined with a BT-1FW in each room with an FPA-1 providing power and audio link to each set of facility plates. The output from the FPA-1 was provided locally to a network streaming device where it was sent across the digital local area network and processed remotely for distribution to the required loudspeaker zone. A total of 12 sets of remote facility inputs were provided on this project.

The end result is a very flexible music and paging system that will serve the school well for years to come. The energy saving design of the Cloud Electronic amplifiers will save the School money as well as helping to reduce their carbon footprint.