To keep pace with the changing needs of tomorrow's workforce, the Moore County School System converted old classrooms into computer labs.

The classrooms originally had only power -- no communications cabling or ability to run cable and wire inside the walls or floors. Now, the Moore County School System, Sandhills region of North Carolina, has Cat. 5 cable to support multiple high-speed Internet connections at workstations throughout many of its schools.

The IT department decided to use a variety of wire and cable management products after the successful upgrade of its central office. Based on that experience, they installed activation inserts and faceplates, as well as surface-mount, latching, and over-floor raceways in the new computer lab.

"Common inserts worked between various wiring systems, which allowed us to inventory fewer parts," says Scott Bowers, assistant director of Information Technology (IT), Moore County School System.

The surface-mount raceway provides flexibility and accessibility for data, voice, video, and power applications around the perimeter of the labs. Thus, more than 30 computers and several printers get power from one point; no patchwork of cables and wires.

"This product seemed to fit really well with the school, based on its environment," says Jeff Randle, sales engineer, Communications Cabling, Inc., the project contractor. "We didn't have access inside the walls, so we definitely had to do a raceway. The surface-mount product seemed like the logical choice, and aesthetically the customer liked it."

Meanwhile, the latching raceways route and protect coaxial, fiber optic, and other low-voltage cables. At some points, the over-floor steel raceway safely brings cables to desks in the middle of the rooms.

Hundreds of students pass through computer labs daily. Thus, safety and durability are critical to maintaining a successful, state-of-the-art learning environment.

"I got lots of positive feedback from my technicians," adds Randle. "These products were easy to deal with and you didn't need to have lots of technical skills; you can be efficient with it."

Randle found the flexible PVC hinges an extremely attractive feature on various components. "It's nice to have the ability to pop open the raceways with a screwdriver to make any necessary upgrades without disrupting the entire system," says Bowers. "We have to maintain the systems ourselves - there are no technical guys here to help us."