Sometimes, it’s just great to get a fresh start.
At The Episcopal Academy in suburban Philadelphia, aging facilities were threatening to hold the school
back. Buildings were in need of renovation. A hodgepodge of unreliable printers left students and
In 2008, The Episcopal Academy moved to an entirely new campus with seven major buildings on 123 acres,
following an eight-year-period of planning, fund-raising and construction. Among the advances is a totally
fresh design suited to technology needs.
The new campus also has a well-planned and executed design for meeting student and faculty printing needs. It
features all HP printers (opens in new tab), positioned for optimum use and accessible to everyone who needs to use them.
“People absolutely love it,” explains Catherine Hall, Ph.D., director of technology for the school. “It’s so
different to have reliable printers that are up all the time, and knowing exactly where to find one and
access it. HP has done a great job for us.” Rich history, bright future
The Episcopal Academy was founded at Old Christ Church in Philadelphia in 1785. For more than two
centuries, it has been one of the leading private schools in the area, now serving some 1,200 students
from the metro Philadelphia area. The school has moved several times over the years, each time improving its facilities. The new campus—which reunites the school that had been spread over two campuses previously—provides additional room for athletics and art programs, and allows the school to meet special needs. It also integrates technology
into the educational experience.
Hall says one of the technology goals was to bring printing under control. “Before, it was the Wild West of printing around here. We didn’t know who was printing, how much was being printed, or where. So we wanted to create a more organized, centralized print environment that everyone would understand.”
She turned to HP consultants to assist in the planning. Together, they designed an environment around the
needs of various user groups.
In the middle and high school areas, HP LaserJet P4515x and Color LaserJet 3xxx series printers are
placed in niches in the hallways and in computer labs. Elementary school classrooms each have their own HP
LaserJet 3005n printer, since teachers can’t leave students unattended. Middle and high school
departmental offices also feature the LaserJet 3005n printer. Staff offices have HP LaserJet P2015dn printers.
“So there’s a very logical distribution, with models selected to match user needs,” explains Hall.
As the school prepared for its opening in 2008, Hall’s staff re-imaged all the desktop computers so that users
would automatically print to the closest printer on the network. People are also trained in how to access
other printers if they need to.
Universal Print Driver adds flexibility
The HP Universal Print Driver facilitates that flexibility. It allows any computer to print to any HP printer. “Using
individual drivers was time-consuming for our technology staff to set up, and on the user end, moving
to different printers was difficult. The Universal Print Driver has streamlined that process and eliminated a
lot of desktop issues,” Hall notes.
The print environment may feature brand new printers, but it’s also designed to save money. Many printers
default to duplex printing to save paper, and Hall estimates the school has cut paper use. Because the
school replaced older printers with higher-capacity models designed to serve larger workgroups, the cost
per page has been lowered. Color printing is restricted based on user needs to make sure students don’t inadvertently use a color printer even for monochrome documents.
Printing is much easier to manage, too.
Hall’s staff is just beginning to use HP Web Jetadmin software to gather statistics on usage, to troubleshoot individual
printers, and to remotely manage the print environment. “We’re learning we can do many things
remotely that used to require us to walk around the school,” Hall notes. They will also use HP Web
Jetadmin to generate proactive service alerts, which help to keep printers stocked with paper and
cartridges for near-100% uptime.
As the new school opened, Hall’s staff rolled out phone training and computer training which included
basic instruction on utilizing the new printers. She sent out targeted emails about duplex printing, adding a
new printer to a computer’s dialog box options, and how users could cut printing costs.HP as a technology partner
An HP technician was brought in to set up the print network and configure IP addresses. “He circled back
several times to make sure everything was perfect when people came in,” Hall notes. “It’s nice to have
technology partners who care that much.”
Hall says she believes print volumes are roughly the same as before, but people are finding it much easier
to print. “Before we moved, a lot of printers were unreliable. Even the newer printers would jam and give
us undecipherable error messages. We just don’t have those problems now. People can count on printers being
available all the time. Our HP printers are very reliable.”
The school has HP support contracts for all its printers. Most monochrome printers are under next-day
exchange agreements, while color printers have nextday, on-site support. Hall says the benefits of printer
standardization are becoming clearer each day. “It’s great to have a single point of contact for sales,warranty and repair, and a single software package that can manage them all for us. We’ve been thrilled with what HP has done for us in the new campus.”
The school’s relationship with HP includes desktop PCs and servers, as well as printers. “We selected HP for
all three types of products because they were so proactive. HP people jumped in and made sure we
had all the resources we need to succeed.”