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UNC Student Stores renovations projected to begin in April

The Student Stores has started getting construction bids to begin renovation. 

The Student Stores has started getting construction bids to begin renovation. 

Student Stores is currently accepting bids from general contractors. The renovations are projected to start in mid-April and are planned to finish by the first of August, Michele Gretch Carter, the Student Stores director, said.

Barnes & Noble College, the manager of Student Stores, agreed to conduct and finance the improvements when negotiating a contract with the University last year. According to the contract, Barnes & Noble College must invest at least $3.8 million toward the renovations.

The goal for the renovations is to turn Student Stores into more than just a store, Gretch Carter said.

“We are trying to make it more of a gathering place,” she said. “So we have the regular bookstore and everything that we have now, but at the same time, we want to make it a place people want to be, to hang out.”

In order to accomplish this, the tech shop, One Card office and Post Office will move up to the third floor to join the pharmacy and the Print Stop & Copy Center. This will consolidate all the services into one location. Also moving up to the third floor is the Bull’s Head Bookshop, which may undergo other changes.

“We have gotten a lot of feedback about what people would like the Bull’s Head to be,” Gretch Carter said. “We are working with those constituencies to get some feedback about what will our content really look like.”

Part of the reasoning behind shifting services and the tech shop to the top floor is to make room for textbooks and school supplies on the ground level.

“Getting everybody up to the third floor during our peak time for textbooks, order pickup and things like that, it’s really hard to maneuver all those people up to the third floor and then maneuver them all the way down,” Gretch Carter said. “With it being on the first floor location, hopefully that will make it significantly easier.”

Another major change is the planned expansion of the cafe on the second floor, solving the problem of a lack of seating space.

“The cafe will have a large seating area. We want to expand in areas that the people, that the campus is telling us to expand in, and part of that is the cafe,” Gretch Carter said.

Victoria Quiett, a first-year international business major, is looking forward to the increased space.

“The expansion of the cafe is pretty awesome,” she said. “It is really small in there and tight, and I would sometimes want to sit down, but there is no space.”

Some students are a bit more apprehensive about the changes.

“I honestly was not aware of the changes, but my first reaction is I like this set up currently,” Alexandra Hummel, a sophomore public policy and public relations double major, said.

“I think it is an OK idea in principle and we will have to see how it plays out.”

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