HIGH definition screens, surround sound, and oak panelled floors await students in Bournemouth’s newest lecture theatres.

The university has finished a £3.8m rebuild of Kimmeridge House and the first lectures will be held today.

The showpiece is the new 308-seat Large Lecture Theatre, the largest on the campus.

The impressive room has 70 speakers and a 15-foot wide high definition screen.

“It’s better than a cinema!” said a delighted Keith Bowes, head of estate management.

He hopes to show next year’s Olympics on the screen, and maybe the next World Cup.

He added: “People will come in here and say ‘Wow – I want to come to Bournemouth University, not Exeter, or Bath, or Southampton’.”

The whole building is now bright, modern and multi-coloured.

There is also a new 70-seat lecture theatre, and two large seminar rooms.

Mr Bowes said: “The work wasn’t driven by increasing number of students.

“It was to give better facilities to our students, because it’s a very competitive market place, and it’s getting more competitive. We have needed this for at least 10 years. It’s been long awaited.”

The market is so competitive because the government is cutting grant funding by 80 per cent.

Mr Bowes said the changes also mean the university is reviewing a planned £50m investment in estates over the next 10 years.

Students will also be relieved that the building’s 210-seat Marconi lecture hall can be reopened. They had been getting bussed to lectures in hired rooms at the Carrington House Hotel and Citygate Church.

The Students Union last year passed a motion expressing students’ unhappiness at that.

The main contractor, Ledbitter from Oxford, spent 12 months doing the work.