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June 25, 2001

New Bay Tree Bookstore to open on July 9

Store to be closed July 4 to July 8 to make move across plaza

By Louise Donahue

The long-delayed new Bay Tree Bookstore is almost ready to open, and customers may decide it's been worth the wait. More books, more dorm supplies--more of just about everything, as a matter of fact--will greet customers when the bookstore reopens at its new location across the plaza on July 9.

Photo of bookstore
A worker puts the finishing touches on the exterior of the new Bay Tree Bookstore. Photo: Louise Donahue
To get everything into place, the bookstore will be closed from Wednesday, July 4, through Sunday, July 8. Staffers will have their hands full; the general (nontextbook) area alone will be more than four times larger than in the old store and textbook space will increase by about 50 percent. An overnight photo-finishing service will be added, the selection of dorm supplies will be expanded to include more furniture, and there will be a Hallmark card section.

Shipping and receiving operations will be more efficient, with trucks now circling campus, coming down Hagar to unload books at the new loading dock, then leaving via Hagar. "It'll ease traffic on the lower part of Hagar a little bit," said bookstore director Bob McCampbell. The larger quarters also mean books will no longer need to be stored off campus, speeding restocking of the shelves, McCampbell said.

The spacious new store, an open-beam design, includes added customer service desks and plenty of room between aisles, allowing "comfortable browsing," McCampbell said. "All around, it will be better," he said. Bookstore staff members, now spread out in various buildings, will be consolidated in the new facility.

McCampbell was as discouraged as anyone by the construction delays--the project is a year behind schedule--but he is excited about the prospects for the new facility. "There will be a closer tie-in with other functions. This whole area will be very dynamic."

Next door to the bookstore is the Express Store, a convenience store with candy, snacks, sandwiches, coffee, and food that can be microwaved, as well as health products and other items. The store will have the same hours as the bookstore this summer, but hours are scheduled to increase to 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the fall.

Summer bookstore hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays. It will be closed on Sundays.

Three other outlets will share the bookstore building:

  • Book buy-back area: Expanded book buy-back facilities include three buy-back windows. Refunds will be handled by a customer-service desk in the bookstore. The book buy-back windows will operate as needed during the academic year.
  • ID cards: Identification cards will be handled in an office about triple the size of the previous space.
  • Copy Center: Moving from the Communications Building into the corner of the building is the Copy Center. The Copy Center will be operated by Printing Services as a leased facility and is expected to open with the bookstore on July 9.

Adding to the buzz of activity in the plaza area this summer will be the Whole Earth Restaurant, due to open its new quarters in mid-July, and the Graduate Commons, also expected to open in July.

One aspect of the plaza's design has already drawn wide attention, from articles in campus publications to USA Today. The object of the attention is a large boulder outside the bookstore. It was designed to be reminiscent of what the area--a former quarry--once looked like. Other smaller rocks are scattered throughout the plaza area to contribute to the effect.

The rocks were the idea of the landscape architect, said McCampbell. "I knew it was going to be a big rock, but I didn't know it was going to be that big," he said. "People will get used to it," he predicted.

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