This spring, the campus bookstore will undergo a significant renovation that, once completed will create a more open and inviting space to serve not only the campus but the community of Flint. During the approximately three week renovation, the bookstore will be freshly painted with softer tones, enhanced with upgraded fixtures, and reconfigured to better handle peak shopping periods creating a more enjoyable shopping experience. In addition to the physical changes, an annual donation of $15,000 will be placed in the “Barnes & Noble Scholarship” fund for UM-Flint students.
“The renovation is a wonderful way to move the university to blend with our neighbors in the downtown, especially with the entrance to the bookstore also being a key gateway point to the entire campus,” said David Barthelmes, vice chancellor for administration. “This renovation will provide a unique and welcoming atmosphere to the university.”
At the heart of the bookstore will be an expanded general reading and academic reference department, to include seating areas with comfortable, overstuffed lounge chairs, coffee tables, study tables and chairs that will encourage people to relax while browsing. Additionally, customers will have access to a self-serve coffee bar to enjoy hot beverages while shopping.
To accommodate the needs of both the academic and general public, the renovated “town and gown” bookstore will feature a number of new enhancements. The storefront will be redesigned to create a more inviting entrance that will lead to a wide sweeping, main drive aisle, a “shopping boulevard”, around which all merchandise areas will be organized. The aisle will be wide enough to contain inviting, attractive promotional tables, a hallmark of Barnes & Noble bookstore design.
To facilitate the swift hand off of textbooks to students and continue to provide the highest quality of customer service, there will be an on-line textbook reservation pick-up counter. This operational swing space will also be used at the end of a semester, to give much needed cash back to students for textbooks they no longer want. Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, which manages the campus bookstore, is committed to returning cash to students, and to providing the largest supply of used textbooks, which together reduces the cost of textbooks for everyone.
A major focus of the renovations is having the bookstore truly reflect the history and achievements of The University of Michigan-Flint. To achieve this goal, the design team has been working with the campus archivist to identify campus photos and images to incorporate into the store’s interior décor. There will also be special sections highlighting faculty authors and books that reflect local topics and interests.
“I am pleased by the commitment Barnes and Noble is showing the University of Michigan-Flint,” said Chancellor Ruth J. Person. “The renovation is focused on providing more services to our campus community, but even more significant is the gift of scholarship dollars to our students. We are grateful for the investment in both our place and our people.”
The grand re-opening of the bookstore will take place on April 1, 2010. More details regarding the event will be released at a later date.