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Newly refurbished Franklin Hall opens its doors as home for The Media School

Aug. 24, 2016

Franklin Hall’s stately appearance lends gravitas to the Old Crescent, which is full of historic limestone buildings, old brick pathways winding through beautifully landscaped areas and the oft-visited bronze sculpture of former IU President and Chancellor Herman B Wells.

But inside the newly refurbished building is a wealth of cutting-edge technology, modern classrooms and fresh spaces aimed at helping students get the most out of their time on campus.

The renovated space boasts 20 editing suites, 10 research labs, seven classroom computer labs, five game design labs, three open labs, two video production studios, one film screening room and an audio studio.

The centerpiece of the building is the commons, which includes a nearly 24-foot-by-12.5-foot television screen and is situated underneath a nine-ton skylight that allows sunlight to pour into the space.

The Beckley Studio, named for IU alumnus Ken Beckley and wife Audrey, will serve as a facility for TV broadcast news classes and production workshops, as well as for IUSTV, the campus’ student-run television station.

It features walls covered in wood reclaimed from old barns and other buildings around Indiana and the Midwest, as well as a brick backdrop that is a composite of recycled cardboard and paper. The set was designed by 2016 graduate from the MFA program in scenic design Christopher Rhoton.

The $21 million renovation project also included construction of a 20-seat screening room, available to film studies students to screen a film they’ve created or watch films for their coursework. It also houses space for the Institute for Communication Research, the home for social scientific research conducted by staff and faculty at The Media School. 

The Franklin Hall renovations aligns with priorities outlined in the university’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan, including a commitment to student success.

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