Renovations to campus bookstore cause relocation of student services


Siri Patterson

The fencing outside the main entrance to block people from entering the bookstore during construction.

Siri Patterson, News Editor

A multi-million dollar remodeling of the first floor of the bookstore is underway, with the goal of increasing revenue, according to the App State’s Future website

Construction began on Dec. 19 and is projected to be completed by summer 2023, according to the website.

Plans for the renovated bookstore in front of the apparel section on the second floor. (Siri )

According to App State’s Future, some of the updates that will be featured post-construction are “digital signage displays, a new sound system,” and “decor that highlights App State’s campus culture and the university’s High Country setting.” 

Due to construction, the market was moved into the area that formerly housed McAlister’s Deli on the second floor of the student union. The apparel section and tech store were moved onto the second floor of the bookstore alongside the textbook rental desk and AppCard Office. 

Bookstore staff worked together to move operations onto the second floor in time for students to pick up textbooks, shop for new looks and get any tech help they may need before the start of the semester.  

Signs directing students to the temporary location of the bookstore on the second floor. (Siri P)

These services can be accessed by stairs from the right side of the bookstore, through a door to the right of the student union entrance. There is also an elevator that is located near the solarium. There are several signs to direct students. 

The board of trustees Business Affairs Committee approved the $5 million budget for the remodel during a meeting Dec. 3, 2021. According to App State’s Future funding for the project came from the App State’s auxiliary trust funds, including bookstore revenue. 

According to App State’s Future, since 2014, nearly $5.2 million in bookstore profits have been put toward student scholarship funds and the renovation has the goal of increasing the contribution. 

Market employee Madison Mistry, a junior middle education major, said that there has been a decrease in customers since the move. 

“I don’t think a lot of people know that we are up here, just because the signs can be confusing,” Mistry said. “Or I think it’s also just like a lack of convenience like having to go upstairs just to get a drink or something.”

Mistry said, post-renovation, the Market will have a new entryway from the outside, separate from the bookstore. 

Two students shopping on the second floor of the bookstore said they felt that the money budgeted for the construction may be better spent on other projects at the school. 

“I just don’t know how much money should go towards aesthetics, I think it should all go toward the students, as much as possible,” said Calen Webb, a junior history major.

Students quickly noticed when construction began in January, as they were no longer able to cut through the lower part of the bookstore to avoid the cold while walking to class. 

Rachel Cooke, a junior psychology major, said that she walked through the bookstore every day while working as a tour guide. 

“Even when I’m not a tour guide, I’m always going through the bookstore,” Cooke said. “And as a person who had a meal plan in the past, I would always spend my time in the Market.”

According to the App State’s Future website, the construction plans were created by Jenkins Peer Architects, a Charlotte-based company that has also worked with UNC Charlotte, Davidson College and NC State University. 

Stro Hastings, a senior psychology major and employee of the bookstore, said several employees and managers spent around nine hours clearing the first floor so that construction could begin. 

“It’s been fun adapting to the new environment, having to work up here now,” Hastings said. “I like that I’m next to everybody else and we’re super close and can wave to each other.”

University Communications did not respond in time for publication.