By Samantha Biastre
The store has a whole new layout and a “more modern color palette and décor” according to Amanda Schaeffer, public relations manager of Kutztown University Student Services, Inc. (KUSSI), which runs the bookstore. KUSSI is an independent non-profit affiliate of Kutztown University that operates and exists for the benefit of Kutztown students.
The bookstore which was run from many satellite locations over the summer was re-opened on Tuesday, Aug. 19 and an official grand opening celebration has been planned for September.
A new entrance was made on the outside of the store to provide easier access for the students and the campus community. The outside entrance will also enable the bookstore to be open during hours when the McFarland Student Union is closed. Schaeffer says that one of the major objectives of the renovation was to establish a more efficient use of the limited space. Various departments in the store footprint were then relocated to other areas within the store.
A Textbook Help desk and an Art Help desk were added in order to improve the bookstore’s ability to assist students with locating their course materials and art supplies that they may need for their classes. The technology product offering was expanded and they are now featured in the center of the store. The apparel and gift departments of the bookstore are now located directly inside the main and exterior entrances. This allows the bookstore staff to display all of the products more creatively than they had been able to in the past. The Service Center was relocated closest to inside the main entrance in order to be more visible and accessible to customers.
The general contractor for the renovation is Cresswell Brothers General Contractors, Inc. from Pottsville, Pa. All of the sub-contractors who worked on the renovation had to be approved vendors of Kutztown University, and were contracted through Cresswell. The KU Facilities Department was responsible for overseeing the whole project and they worked closely with the architects, designers and Cresswell to make sure that all of the work that was performed was agreed upon by all parties involved in the project.
A small portion of the operating surplus of the bookstore had been set aside each year, for several years, to enable KUSSI to completely fund the remodel project without passing on any costs to KU students. This project was fully funded by KUSSI, with no impact to any student fees, university funding or the store pricing.
The renovation project was something that was discussed and evaluated for many years. The planning of the project started in Spring 2012, once there was enough money that was set aside to make the project possible. Schaeffer says that, “Once our plans for a complete renovation of the ‘KU Student Bookstore’ were underway, we felt that this was the perfect time to re-brand using ‘KU Campus Store’ in order to reflect our commitment to providing exceptional service. KU Campus Store – Your source for everything KU!”