New renovations for UConn Bookstore are an exciting addition but must stay on schedule

UConn students excitedly peruse the newly reopened UConn Bookstore on the first day of the 2016 Fall Semester. It is the replacement for last year's UConn Coop after the previous owners were ousted in favor of a contract with Barnes & Noble.  (Grant Zither/ The Daily Campus)

As part of an agreement with Barnes & Noble, more renovations are coming to the UConn Bookstore at the main Storrs campus, following the 2017 spring commencement.

The plans for the bookstore are exciting. They involve creating more area for and community involvement on the top level of the bookstore that overlooks campus. This will include study tables with Wi-Fi and venue spaces for special events such as author signings. The renovations will include more outdoor seating, continuing the pattern of providing students more space to hang out or study.

More stores will also be opening in the space. The UConn Bookstore will have a full Apple store, selling all devices except phones, and there will be a larger Starbucks café that serves everything the company represents. With these great additions, old but important features of the bookstore will still remain, including the full service post office and the computer-repair business.

There are also planned renovations for the store’s aesthetic features. Len Olsen, the general manager of UConn Bookstores, said that the renovation aims to make the bookstore “more open, inviting,” and “less like a mall.” The store will have a double door entrance, and the convenience store will be visible upon entering the building. These changes do not seem to aid the function of the store in any way, but as long as UConn students do not have to bear the cost of these renovations in the pricing of the store or in their tuition, the renovations are positive, aiming to improve the experience of students and customers of the store.

The main bookstore in the center of the Storrs campus is not the only UConn-affiliated bookstore with intended renovations. The café in the UConn Bookstore at Storrs Center will be painted blue and white with UConn spirit logos, along with its Starbucks branding. The UConn Hartford Bookstore will have similar renovations, but on a smaller scale, planned for 2018. The UConn Stamford Bookstore also recently opened a Starbucks. It is important that Storrs is not the only campus that benefits from these renovations, and it looks like the university recognizes that as well.

UConn students should be excited for the renovations scheduled to begin after the 2017 spring commencement, though outgoing seniors will not be here to reap their benefits. It is important that the changes are completed before fall classes begin, because the Bookstore is a center of student life, and that will only become truer with the renovations in place.