University of Connecticut students will soon benefit from an upgraded and more welcoming University of Connecticut Storrs Campus Bookstore.
“Part of the agreement for Barnes and Noble coming here was to renovate the bookstore,” general manager of UConn Bookstores Len Oser said.
These renovations will provide students with additional space on campus to study and be involved in the UConn community, Oser said.
“We’re creating community spaces for students to hang out on the [bookstore’s] top level with study tables, chairs, WiFi, and a nice view of campus,” Oser said. “There will also be venues for special events, like author signings. Professors could even hold classes here.”
The aesthetic and layout of the bookstore’s interior will be improved by the renovations as well, Oser said.
“[The bookstore] will be a lot more open, inviting and less like a mall,” Oser said. “[The convenience store] will be visible when you enter.”
The bookstore will be further enhanced by the opening of several new stores inside, Oser said.
“There’s going to be a much larger and improved Starbucks café, serving all the things Starbucks represents,” Oser said, “and a brand new Apple Store. It won’t sell phones, but it will sell all other Apple devices.”
The services currently available to students at the bookstore will continue to be offered, Oser said.
“We’re remaining in the computer-repair business, and will still offer a full-service post office upstairs,” Oser said.
To complement the refurbishments to the bookstore’s interior, the exterior of the bookstore will also receive updates, Oser said.
“There will be a double door entrance,” Oser said, “and more outside seating. We’re making the space outside the store work with the space indoors.”
Renovations are slated to begin after Commencement in spring of 2017 and will most likely be completed by fall next year, Oser said.
“The plan’s being reviewed at all levels now. Permits and final engineering are the next step,” Oser said.
Extensive research and teamwork have contributed substantially to the development of the plan for the renovations, Oser said.
“The president of the university on down have been involved,” Oser said. “We based the plan on the flow of students, how many cash registers were needed, and how many online orders were filled during back to school this year.”
This planning has been expanded to encompass several other UConn affiliated bookstores, which have already been or will soon be renovated.
“The [café] at the Storrs Center bookstore will be branded Starbucks and have blue and white paint and spirit logos for UConn spirit,” Oser said. “The UConn Stamford Bookstore just opened a Starbucks café and students love it, and the UConn Hartford Bookstore renovations are planned for 2018, with a Starbucks and everything else that’s coming to Storrs, just on a slightly smaller scale.”
Alexandra Retter is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.