After a $16 million renovation, Sherley Hall returned this semester with substantial upgrades for residents ranging from a baking center to lounges with pool and foosball tables, but most notably a movie theater in the basement, a university official said.
Director of Residential Services Craig Allen said the idea of a movie theater popped up during renovation. The building had extra space in the basement after the renovation.
“We got student feedback, and they loved the idea,” Allen said. “Architects drew it up, and now we have it in place.”
The basement could not be made into residential space because it would have been too expensive and difficult to convert it into rooms given its location below ground, Allen said. The cost would have been too significant to excavate and redo the basement with student rooms, he said.
A price breakdown for the theater wasn’t available because it was built in to the overall cost of the project, Allen said.
The theater has 24 seats and can hold at least 12 more standing or sitting on the floor, Allen said. The projection screen was built into the wall, with an LED projector and a surround sound system, he said.
The theater is open to Sherley residents and any guests or other students they might bring, he said.
Ben Schmidt, freshman film-TV-digital media major and Sherley resident, said the theater has been a laid back place to hang out, to meet people and to watch movies.
“I love that it’s no big deal,” Schmidt said. “You don’t have to reserve a time or anything. You just go in, pop in a DVD and go for it.”
Resident assistant Hannah Knipp, a sophomore social work major, said the movie theater has been a great resource and helped bring the Sherley community together.
Allen said the theater has been used for more than watching movies. Students can hook up gaming systems, run their computers and watch TV, he said. It is more of a home entertainment system than a movie theater, and students have responded well to it and have put it to good use, he said.
Future building projects would have their own unique features, but space would dictate what the university will do with the features in a building, Allen said.