Academy of the Holy Names Goes High-Tech

Academy of the Holy Names Goes High-Tech


Tampa, Fla. – In time for fall, a monumental upgrade to a wireless network took place on Bayshore Boulevard. It involved the installation of the same equipment the Marine Corp uses throughout the Pacific Rim and the same equipment installed in the Tampa Convention Center to handle the web traffic of those attending the 2012 Republican National Convention.

While most would expect a top technology company or security provider in the area to require such capabilities, in this case, the upgrade took place at an institution that is in a class by itself.

This year, those attending the Academy of the Holy Names are primed to experience one of the most exciting school years in the Academy’s 131-year history following a $100,000 upgrade to the campus’s Wi-Fi capabilities courtesy of Mission Critical Solutions and Mainstream IP Solutions. The project exponentially improved the functionality of the school’s wireless network and enabled administrators to provide iPads to each student enrolled.

Mission Critical Solutions (MCS) and Mainstream IP Solutions (MIPS) were contracted to design, equip and install several areas of the 19-acre campus – including the Academy’s main building, chapel, Brady Center and Media Center – with high-performance wireless networks capable of heavy traffic, higher bandwidth and full coverage.

MCS’ and MIPS’ engineers performed a site survey to determine the bandwidth, traffic, and coverage required throughout the entire campus. The team configured a wireless network that utilizes 37 arrays and also covers the gymnasium, pool area, soccer fields and tennis courts.

“At the Academy of the Holy Names, we pride ourselves on providing our students with the best educational tools and technology available,” said Kent Smith, director of technology at the Academy of the Holy Names. “Mission Critical Solutions has helped us position ourselves as one of the most technologically advanced schools in the area, and we are looking forward to our best year yet.”

The Wi-Fi network consists of arrays that are multi-state programmable radios (2.5 Ghz or 5 Ghz), have upgradeable hardware and software, and offer on-board controllers which reduce switch requirements, as well as high gain directional antennas for 4 times the coverage of most antennas. The installation also included mid-span power injectors to power the arrays through the data line and reduce cable installation. The team also configured the arrays based on the Academy of the Holy Names specifications and tested the system to verify operability and coverage.

The team re-used existing data cabling when possible and installed excess cable to allow for future relocations. From start to finish, the project lasted roughly one month and was completed ahead of schedule allowing for ample time for testing and integration before the start of school on August 21.

“The team at MCS and MIPS was especially excited to work with the Academy of the Holy Names,” said MCS President and Founder Gilbert Gonzalez. “We take personal pride in fostering the education of today’s youth and in knowing our work will benefit local students for years to come.”