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Schools -
Franklin and Marshall College
College sports complex gains
versatility with prismatic lighting

Many factors come into play when students are selecting an institution for higher education. Academic qualifications usually rank near the top, but students are often concerned about an institution's facilities.

The new 60,000-square-foot field house, part of the Athletic and Recreation Complex at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is a showcase that is helping attract students to the college. Besides its accommodations for sports events, from tennis and jogging to basketball, pole vaulting and lacrosse, the field house plays host to a variety of activities such as exhibitions, music productions, banquets and graduation.

Because the facility is used for such a wide range of events, the lighting was particularly important. The illumination had to be bright and uniform enough for sports events, yet capable of being controlled for other activities.

"If, for instance, students are utilizing the indoor jogging track, we want to be able to provide recreational lighting. If only half of a basketball court is in use, we want the ability to light that area within the field house only," explained Steve Valeriano, electrical engineer and principal of Consolidated Engineers, West Lawn, Pennsylvania.

Another goal was to illuminate the volume of space. With a height of 50 feet to the roof, Valeriano said he was concerned about lighting the painted white ceiling, with trusses and exposed duct work, to avoid the cavern effect.

The system installed is Holophane Prismalume® fixtures using a combination of 400 watt super metal halide and 500 watt incandescent lamps. Incandescent units are considered house lights used for events such as lectures, dances and music productions. (The field house includes a stage illuminated with theatrical lighting.)

Prismalume units with metal halide and incandescent lamps are mounted at 34 feet, hung an aircraft cable to absorb the impact of flying balls. Spacing is 14 ' x 25' for the metal halide units, and 30' x 45' for incandescent fixtures. Every lighting unit is individually controlled, with a separate circuit running from each fixture into the relay box. The system is pre-programmed computer controlled with manual override.

The field house was designed for 50 footcandles maintained.

"Lighting in the field house is very even," Valeriano said. "The Prismalume's glass reflector provides illumination in every direction, so there are no hot spots. The fixtures are very efficient in their light output and ballast operation."

To provide continuity in design, Prismalume fixtures are also used in the sports complex lobbies, main entrance and natatorium. Both the lobbies and main entrance are open structures with glass extending all the way up. Prismalume units are cable mounted at 34 feet, spaced 14' by 25'. Illumination levels are 50 footcandles maintained.

In the natatorium ,with its Olympic-size 80-meter pool, fixtures are cable-mounted at 34 feet, spaced 16' x 32'. Lamps used are 1,000 watt metal halide, providing 100 footcandles for competition, and 50 footcandles for recreational use.

"In lighting the natatorium, we wanted to assure we did not have the dreary atmosphere that is common to many indoor pools," said Valeriano. "The goal was to have a bright area with a bright ceiling, but no glare or reflection.
Because Franklin & Marshall is one of the top schools in swimming, officials hope to hold national meets here, which necessitates the higher illumination levels."

A focal point in the room is a large skylight above the middle of the pool that also runs the pool's length. At night, the skylight is illuminated with indirect shoe-box type fixtures mounted upside down on a catwalk. Above the bleacher area, Prismalume units with 250 watt super metal halide lamps are utilized.

"All of the elements blend nicely together throughout the complex," said Valeriano. "Before we began designing the facility, project personnel visited colleges and universities across the country to look at many different mechanical and electrical systems. We then tried to compile the ideas and come out with the best facility possible. I feel that we have achieved this goal. The complex is absolutely beautiful."

Lighting fixtures are being maintained by campus personnel, cleaned and relamped on an annual basis. Valeriano said the Prismalume fixtures are durable and easy to maintain.


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