The Binghamton University Bookstore is in the middle of a renovation process that is set to be completed by Jan. 15.
The renovation will include soft seating in the store’s upstairs section and café-style seating outside of the first floor entrance as well as converting the upstairs exchange and buyback window into a new display case. There will also be a Bearcat mural and a new Binghamton University Bookstore sign for the store’s first floor entrance.
Peter Napolitano, director of auxiliary services, is in charge of the renovation and said he was most excited about the new storefront display, which will change seasonally, featuring different lighting, colors and scenes.
“It’s not going to be the Barnes & Noble store, and it’s not going to be the bookstore,” Napolitano said. “It’s going to be the Binghamton University store.”
Students wishing to return or sell back books will now do so in the back of the second floor.
The renovation will also include the addition of a counter featuring products by Clinique, a high-end skin care and cosmetics company, according to Binghamton University Bookstore manager Amanda Konopa.
“We are going to be one of 27 Barnes & Nobles that actually have the Clinique counter, and there are over 650 Barnes & Noble college stores,” Konopa said. “So it’s pretty prestigious, and we are excited about it.”
Konopa also said that she wants the upstairs seating and tables outside of the main entrance to make the bookstore more of a destination for students.
“The seats sound like a really good idea because now I can have quiet places to sit and read books as opposed to the Union where it’s noisy,” said Alex Mackof, an undeclared freshman. “I hope they allow food in the bookstore because it will be next to the Food Court.”
After the renovation, textbooks will be organized alphabetically instead of by school and subject, as they are currently laid out.
Students will not bear the cost of the renovation, according to Konopa.
“All of the money that is actually making this renovation possible was something that Barnes & Noble has come up with separately,” Konopa said. “So it’s not like we are going to inflate any prices to pay for this.”
Binghamton University is in its eighth year of a 10-year contract with Barnes & Noble.
According to Napolitano, students contributed a great deal to the renovations.
“I did a major presentation to the area presidents before they got out for the spring, so the area presidents had access and had knowledge of what was taking place,” Napolitano said. “There has been student involvement throughout the whole process. But once we got into the nitty-gritty and the contractor was hired and the drywall goes up the students didn’t really care about that.”
Napolitano also said that meetings with students and the Binghamton Spirit Committee inspired the Bearcat mural and Binghamton University Bookstore sign outside of the main entrance.
The bookstore renovation is separate from the Food Court renovations and has a different architect, but both projects will be completed at roughly the same time.
“It was very fortuitous for all of us to have the marketplace and the Barnes & Noble renovations dovetailed together and made to look like one giant renovation,” Napolitano said.