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Saturday, September 18, 2021

New UC Davis bookstore to reopen by June 6

Rendering of bookstore guest services desk on ground floor. (UC DAVIS STORES)
Rendering of bookstore guest services desk on ground floor. (UC DAVIS STORES)

Renovated facility to feature Amazon Store, e-book services desk, more boutique vendors

The UC Davis Bookstore, currently under construction, is set to reopen on June 6 with the temporary location at the ARC Pavilion vacated by mid-May, according to bookstore director Jason Lorgan and renewal project manager Carol Swafford.

The expanded facility is a result of higher student enrollment at UC Davis. Before the renewal, the UC Davis store could only house 15,000 textbooks. With the renovated bookstore, this number will be raised to 30,000.

Among the additions to the bookstore will be a new Amazon Store section, a staffed pickup location with new Amazon lockers inside the facility. According to Lorgan, this is an effort to satisfy an increasing interest in online ordering and in-store pickup of textbooks.

Lorgan said the Amazon Store will differ from the already established lockers outside the Memorial Union (MU) because students will need to notify the bookstore in order to pick up their merchandise. For the new store, students will contact the bookstore through the Amazon app and then staff members will place the merchandise in their locker for them to pick up.

According to Lorgan, this system will not only ensure the safety of purchases, but will also expand the overall use of the Amazon lockers.

“The difference is that if you order now and the lockers are full, it doesn’t [allow you to order] anymore. With the pick-up location, how it works is the [staff] doesn’t put it in the locker until you say you’re coming to get it,” Lorgan said. “The point of the staff counter is [that] if the wrong thing was ordered or damaged, there’s someone there.”

Another new feature is Access Point, a technical services desk in the bookstore created specifically in response to the emergence of e-books. It will provide help to students with technical issues with e-book resources, such as Inclusive Access.

Other additions to the bookstore include a Grab-n-Go food and drink section supplied by the ASUCD Coffee House, dressing rooms, more boutique vendors like Smashbox and seats for customers with phone charging stations.

According to Lorgan, the expanded retail space is a result of old offices on the bookstore’s ground floor moving to the fourth floor of the MU, and the removal of the basement level billiards room for additional space. The billiards room will be relocated to another section of the lower level game area.

The bookstore’s two entrances will also see changes. The new main entrance will be southeast of the store, in the external wall across from the Social Sciences and Humanities building. Another entrance will open on the west side of the bookstore, across from Freeborn Hall. The entrance that used to be inside the MU will be closed off and become windows into the store. According to Lorgan, this change is primarily to abide by the fire code.

Structurally, the bookstore will not only be larger, but safer as well. Swafford commented on the implementation of seismic bracing as one of the critical improvements in compliance with seismic codes.

The bookstore renovation is part of UC Davis’ greater MU Renewal Project, which began on March 23, 2015. The goal of the renovation is to accommodate the growing student body and to streamline the operation of UC Davis stores in numerous locations.

As part of the construction, the textbook side of the store was relocated to the upper level of the northeast corner of the Pavilion with general merchandise moved to the east wing of the MU.

For Lauren Patron, a second-year managerial economics major, the Pavilion location is frustrating for off-campus students.

“I think it’s inconvenient since it’s closer to the Segundo and Tercero residence halls, whereas most students live off-campus. I feel it should be closer to the bus stops,” Patron said.

There are students who differ in opinion, but also still believe it is ideal if the bookstore was closer.

“I personally don’t think it’s that far [for] off-campus [students,] but it definitely would be nicer to have it closer to the Quad, or to have it on the ground level,” said third-year psychology major Yang Ong.

Initially, the bookstore was slated to reopen in Fall 2015, but faced constant delays. Lorgan and Swafford admitted their disappointment in the delay, citing complications from unexpected infrastructure problems.

“There was infrastructure under the building, like sewer lines, that we were not aware of before the start of the project,” Lorgan said. “[The delay was] primarily caused by the fact that this is a really old building and the records were only on paper.”

Rendering of new cash registers on lower level. (UC DAVIS STORES)
Rendering of new cash registers on lower level. (UC DAVIS STORES)

Rendering of new Grab-N-Go section with food supplied by the CoHo. (UC DAVIS STORES)
Rendering of new Grab-N-Go section with food supplied by the CoHo. (UC DAVIS STORES)

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Rendering of new boutique counter on ground floor. (UC DAVIS STORES)

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Rendering of new fitting rooms on the ground floor. (UC DAVIS STORES)

Written by: Yvonne Leong – campus@theaggie.org

 

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