Renovations budgeted at $4.25 million for Concordia’s largest auditorium in the Henry F. Hall building are scheduled to be done by January 2014.
“We’ve invested a lot in that building over the last few years and this is our biggest [project] at the moment,” said Peter Bolla, associate vice-president of Facilities Management.
The H-110 auditorium seats 675, with a standing capacity of 723 and is often used for cinema projections. Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema students’ final films are projected in the auditorium and the films from the Fantasia International Film Festival have been screened there in previous years.
The auditorium hasn’t undergone any reconstruction prior to the current project.
“It’s a complete renovation,” said Bolla. “We’re changing all the seats, all the decorations, we’re upgrading all the equipment with new, fully digital projectors […] It’s a big improvement.”
These changes will improve the venue for film festivals. New projectors and screens will meet Digital Cinema Package standards, according to an article published on Concordia’s website Aug. 27. DCP standards are accepted worldwide for distributing and projecting movies in a digital format.
Bolla said Concordia is installing more energy efficient lighting and ventilation in H-110. The auditorium is also getting an improved sound system, new carpeting and improved wheelchair access.
“We’re also renovating the exterior of it,” he said, explaining why the area is boarded off in the Hall building lobby.
Bolla said Concordia is currently working within budget, and the auditorium should reopen next winter or spring.
Classes that regularly use the H-110 auditorium have been temporarily relocated to rooms in other Concordia buildings.
The university has focused on renovating different areas of the Hall building, built in 1966, in recent years.
“We’ve been renovating the Hall building as a classroom building,” explained Bolla. “Every summer, we renovate two classrooms.”
Besides classrooms, some of the university’s larger auditoriums have been refurbished, such as the H-937 auditorium which was renovated a couple years ago.
The major project over the past two years was replacing the Hall building’s 17 escalators as well as adding new stairs and escalators.
“We hope the users are happy with it,” Bolla added.
In the coming years, noted Bolla, Concordia plans on renovating research labs.