I know that there is already a similar thread, but it is outdated and my situation is not the same so I am starting a new one. I am the TD for a high school in central Illinois. Our lighting system from 1987 (Strand CD80 rack of 96 dimmers and a Strand Lightboard M) has been number one on my list of things to upgrade/replace, and not that the controller card in the old AMX rack has fried, the director (who controlles the checkbook) finally agrees with me. Because we are strapped for cash, the dimmer rack is not getting thrown out, we are buying a CD-2000-A retrofit kit from Johnson systems to make the rack DMX compatible. This means that we also need a new board. I have a friend who is willing to sell us a Leviton MC 24/48 for around 2k, but I am also looking to the possiblility of a board which is better for moving lights, which we will want to purchase at some point in the next 5 years or so. A convention and online research have led me to look at the Strand preset Palette and the ETC Ion boards. I am looking for feedback suggestions, and other advice which pertains to these other other recommended boards. Obviously we have only conventional lights since we are moving from a 1987 AMX system, but I want a board which will allow that to change in the near future. Now for one big complication: tech at this school is entirely student-run. I am a senior there right now, and will be leaving at the end of the school year. However, my assistant TD will be attending college ten minutes from the school and will be able to help them for the next four years with shows. Nevertheless, the board which we get must be user-friendly to students who do not have the same technical backround as my ATD and I (we went into business together selling computers and DJing dances and other such venues). The director is the only staff member involved in theatre at this school, and he will be leaving at the end of the 09-10 school year. He is not technically inclined, and we do not yet know who will replace him, so we can't count on the staff to be highly proficient with lights, either. Any help with this is much appriciated!