Bookstore expansion on tap

By on April 8, 2009

At the start of each semester, the lines wind through the bookstore as students wait for their new books and school supplies. The stacks of textbooks extend to the middle of the store, and merchandise is displaced by the extra cash register.

But by this fall, Quinnipiac hopes that these issues will be resolved. The bookstore will be nearly doubled in size with the addition of a second story, according to bookstore manager Andrew Tranquilli and Associate Vice President for Administration Services John Meriano.

The plans to renovate the bookstore are in hopes of providing the students with the best possible service. Tranquilli says that they hope to, “have more stuff available for people when they need it.” He went on to explain that the expansion will provide students with four times the amount of merchandise starting the beginning of next year.

“The second floor will carry all the textbooks, service eFollett online textbook orders and provide various accessories such as medical and law reference books, general reference titles and supplies like notebooks,” Tranquilli said.

This will leave the first floor with more space for merchandise such as, “clothing, gifts, supplies, computer accessories, general books, health and beauty aids, and snacks,” he said.

After considering many different options for building a new part of the bookstore, facilities found that the only possible way to build was up. They had considered expanding the bookstore toward the back.

According to Meriano, however, there were a number of factors that prevented construction in the back.

“Outside the bookstore, underground, is all of the University’s water, gas, sewage, electricity and telephones,” Meriano said. “So in order to build the store, you would have had to put in a new foundation which would have misplaced all of the major arteries of the University.”

Therefore, the expansion to the bookstore will be in what is now the game room and organizational suite. A fifth year physical therapy student was one of the many people concerned when he heard this news.

“I live off campus, so I’m in here playing pool every day. I’d be really upset if they did that,” he said. He said that he always sees a lot of students in the game room, as well as a group of facilities workers who use the space to eat their lunch and enjoy their breaks.

One of these facilities workers, who wished to remain anonymous, joked, “there are plenty of books in the library,” before going on to explain that, “we want the TV, we want our couches, and we want to relax for a half hour.” These workers eat lunch in the game room every day, but admit that the game room is never really extremely crowded. However, once the bookstore is expanded they said that they don’t know where they’re going to go.

Another group that will be affected by the closing of the game room is the work study students who work there.

“It’s a really easy job for me to have and do and I don’t know what I’m going to do for work study now next year,” freshman Kim Wells, a game room worker said. “It’s not usually too busy, but a lot of organizations use it as a place to come and have meetings.”

She is now left with trying to figure out a new job for next year.

“The student center manager e-mailed everyone and said we could probably get other student center jobs, but it will be different than this one,” she said.

“I have made our game room staff aware the game room will be closing as of May 1 due to the beginning of the QU bookstore expansion,”Associate Director of the Student Center Nicolette Yevich said.

“It is the intent of the Student Center to retain trained student staff if at all possible,” she said. “If the employment needs of our game room workers can be met in other areas of the Student Center, we will do all we can to retain them. In regards to the game room as a whole, there are no plans to create a new one.”

Tranquilli looked to the future while showing remorse for the loss of the game room.

“I regret that we’re doing that (closing the game room), but I think that as far as service goes, I think more students will benefit from an expanded bookstore,” he said.

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