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UA Bookstore celebrates grand reopening

The+UA+Bookstore+at+the+Student+Union+Memorial+Center+will+have+its+grand+reopening+after+undergoing+a+nearly+%241-million+rennovation+on+Thursday%2C+Nov.+10.
Jesus Barrera

The UA Bookstore at the Student Union Memorial Center will have its grand reopening after undergoing a nearly $1-million rennovation on Thursday, Nov. 10.

The UA BookStore will be celebrating the completion of its recent renovations with a grand reopening event on Nov. 10. The event will feature various visiting trunk stores, a virtual reality experience, KAMP Student Radio DJs, sales for both faculty and staff appreciation and Bear Down sales.

This event celebrates the completion of the bookstore’s renovations, which began in May and were completed in early October, according to Justin Archer, the UA Bookstore marketing and communications manager. The renovations included new tile, the installment of new fixtures and the refurbishment of old fixtures. The architect who worked on this project is a UA alumnus who specializes in retail design, according to Archer.

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Archer said the renovation was a “$1 million project,” costing $45 per square foot for the interior remodeling for a 22,000 square-foot renovation.

Mariateresa Mejia, a care, health and society senior, said she has been in the bookstore twice this year and had concerns over the cost of the renovations.

“The UA spends so much money and tuition’s so high,” Mejia said. “Since it’s already a struggle to pay for school I don’t see why we needed to change it in the first place.”

The UA budget factored in the cost of the renovations during the process of planning the renovations, which lasted two years, according to Archer. He said various retailers update their stores and this was the bookstore’s first major interior remodel since it was built.

“We were remodeling to meet the needs of our ever-changing customers,” Archer said. “We really want to make the bookstore shopping experience a great one.”

Archer said the UA Bookstore has diverse customers, ranging from faculty to current students to prospective parents and students. He said that the customers need change throughout the year, from the back-to-school rush to a Grad Fest event.

“Flexibility was kind of a key focus of ours, so we can meet the ebbs and flows of all our customers’ needs,” Archer said. “We really just want to make that we were preparing ourselves for the future and the future needs of the campus and the students in general.”

Archer said that “time will tell” whether the renovations will help students with their visits there, but he thinks it will as students get used to the store.

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Lauren Sparks, a nursing junior, said she had been used to the store the way it was prior to the renovations.

“Now it’s kind of confusing trying to find things where they are, but I’ll get used to it,” Sparks said.

Ricardo Jimenez, an employee at the bookstore since late July, said he worked during the renovations.

“It felt really cramped and it felt like we didn’t have enough space to do stuff [during the renovations], but it turned out really nice and we have more than enough space now,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez said he likes the renovations a lot and he has heard many compliments from customers about the renovations. He said one customer told him it was “like a mall in there” because of the variety of items the bookstore sells.

“It’s really convenient to have everything in the bookstore now,” Jimenez said.

Dharan Harikrishnan, a public health junior also said he likes the renovations.

“I think it’s a new touch to the bookstore,” Harikrishnan said.

Archer said the bookstore is hoping to try to incorporate things that students would “like to hopefully be a part of” and the event is not just about the items in the store for sale.

“It’s about exposing people to the new store and

the new arrangement that we have in there,” Archer said. “So they can experience hopefully the new design that will hopefully increase the shopping experience

for all the diverse customers.”


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