Correction: An original version of the article incorrectly stated Paul Maloney's position at Barnes & Nobel College. The story was updated with the correct information.
UNC celebrated the grand re-opening of the newly designed student stores with a ribbon-cutting event on Tuesday, complete with a colossal, multi-layer cake for the campus community.
The re-opening marks the end of the $3.8 million renovation, transforming the store into a communal hot spot. Lloyd Kramer, UNC history professor and director of Carolina Public Humanities, said he envisions the space to be a cradle of intellectual vitality, where ideas among community members and books clash together.
“It’s already becoming a buzzing center of student and faculty activity," Kramer said. "Every time I come through here, there are just lots of people sitting at tables and drinking coffee, talking about the meaning of life and why we are here – all of the things that are supposed to happen at a university.”
As part of a 10-year agreement, Barnes & Noble invested $3.8 million in the Student Stores renovations. Brad Ives, associate vice chancellor for campus enterprises, said sales are on track to exceed the minimum payment guarantee to the University, which is $3 million for the first two years.