Large-scale renovations to the University of Connecticut bookstore were recently completed, including changes to the entrance, interior and a lounge built on the second floor.
“It was delivered as we expected, it came out terrific,” bookstore manager Leonard Oser said.
Renovations for the upper floor began in March and construction on the lower floor began the day after commencement last spring.
“It’s really awesome. We’re starting to see some of the students, the expressions on everyone’s faces is really worth all the work.” Oser said. “There are still plans to complete an additional stairwell at the entrance of the building to allow for easier access to the upper floor and the lounge area there.”
There is now approximately 4,000 square feet of public space on the second floor with tables, chairs and outlets that allow around 100 students to use the area as a study or work space.
There is a new entrance and redesigned interior, which includes a Starbucks Café, Apple tech center and a cosmetics department called the Glossary on the first floor.
“We took all the interior walls down and created quite a home for UConn branded apparel, gifts and merchandise,” Oser said.
The Apple tech center will sell and offer repair services for their products, and the Glossary will sell about 15 brands of cosmetics and skin care products that are the most popular with college student demographics based on consumer research, Oser said.
“We created a new tech store with Apple products at the front of the store, just adjacent to our technology repair area, so sales and repairs are all in the same place,” Oser said.
As for the Glossary there will be “some brands they’ll find at CVS that they’ll find here, for convenience, but most of the brands you’ll find here are the hottest, newest brands, they’re not the mass market brands that CVS would traditionally carry,” Oser said.
Some brands that will be sold at the Glossary include Smashbox, Lipstick Queen, Jack Black, Clinique and Burt’s Bees.
The renovations to the main bookstore are one of a series of UConn projects around the state that were completed over the summer, including a new café at the Stamford campus and Noble and a bookstore for the new Hartford campus.
These projects cost a total of $4 million, which was supplied by Barnes and Noble and controlled by UConn.
Renovations planned for the Storrs Center location have not been completed yet, but will hopefully be finished by the end of the year, Oser said.
“We thought it was more important to complete this main store project,” Oser said.
Oser said he looks forward to seeing the student body’s response to the changes as they return for the fall semester.
“This is a world class university and it needed a world class bookstore which it hasn’t had for quite some time,” Oser said. “Now it does, so we’re just proud to be able to have delivered it and can’t wait until everyone sees it for themselves.”