To meet the growing demands of the industry, San Jacinto College’s LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology (CPET) is a visionary project that leads the way in training the next generation of skilled workers. Designed by industry leaders, the 151,000-square-foot institutional complex is the largest instructional complex in the Gulf Coast Region. Completed in July 2019, the $60 million facility houses an 8,000-square-foot glycol distillation unit, a two-story pilot plant training facility and boasts 35 custom interior labs, including 20 interactive classrooms.
For Eaton Commons, the main entrance of the CPET center, NCS designed and installed an extensive information technology (IT) and collaborative AV infrastructure solution that features a configurable space for multiple scenarios—from hosting large events to small campus gatherings. The showcase area provides a social center for students with a multi-function premier event space that allows three branded event experiences to coincide. The project takes a 4-in-1 approach to provide a new, multi-use space that consists of six distinct areas: event space, the common area, and two instructional spaces, each with their own unique audiovisual experience. The goal was to make optimal use of the communal space, which includes a high-resolution 16′ by 9′ Samsung 2.0mm LED video wall and independent controls for customization to make it as flexible as possible, accommodating myriad applications. Thinking beyond a traditional lobby area and contemporary messaging efforts, the video wall serves as an electronic billboard and showpiece to promote the school’s image to prospective students, build a community for attending students, and enhance the campus experience. Audio, video, and lighting solutions also needed to be flexible and easily reconfigured for multiple space configurations and room orientation. To complete the branded experience, networked TV monitors, with scheduled and targeted content, deliver campus communication in common areas and decision points to empower students, teachers, and visitors.
In order to properly enable this, the areas are kitted out with PA systems, wireless microphones, video-conferencing systems, streaming solutions and live production capabilities, a control room, a rack room, and storage. Through this digital transformation, the CPET facility allows visitors to learn more about the college on a more personal scale. Additionally, there is a portable cart housing a Yamaha Dante mixing console, Crestron control panel, and an ATEN IP KVM connection back to the Tricaster TC1, which gives the university complete flexibility with regards to setup and room configuration.
With unique architectural details, state-of-the-art audiovisual systems, and a capacity of 300 in various seating configurations, this event space reflects the ingenuity and innovation of not only the college but the industrial industry as a whole. Eaton Commons has already been requested for leadership-level and signature events that showcase San Jacinto College and by industry partners from some of the world’s largest refineries.
The space will also be utilized for:
- Banquets and fundraising events
- Student and industry-based meetings
- Safety training
- Community events
- Careers fairs
- Open panel discussions
- Private events
- Video conferencing
The building responds positively to the call of today’s students for the latest technology and on-demand services while also helping the administration generate much-needed revenue and promote social interaction and cohesion on campus. Designing Eaton Commons with flexible multipurpose spaces and back-of-the-house preparation areas has proven to be more cost-efficient by providing rentable space to the college, the community, and industry leaders. With these new in-house capabilities, IT staff and support can provide production-level event staging and technological support to accommodate changes in activities, groups, and settings quickly. Creating this adaptability is critical to ensuring that the facility will be utilized to its fullest. San Jacinto College has already configured the space in over five different applications and has more events scheduled in the future.