What is now broken walls and chipped tiles will soon be a newly renovated North Campus bookstore.
By the end of the semester, the Barnes & Noble store housed in Pierpont Commons will have undergone aesthetic renovations, including new tiling and carpets. The layout of the store will also be altered with textbook materials moved to the back wall of the store and school supplies will move to the front.
The bookstore started publicizing the changes to its on-campus location through its Facebook page last Monday. Pictures of renovations included outstripped wallpaper and shelves and the addition of new flooring and an information desk.
When Barnes & Noble’s leasing contract expired this year at Pierpont Commons, a renewed five-year lease included negotiations to renew the look of the bookstore. Michael Swanigan, director of Pierpont Commons, said the renewed contract came to fruition when Barnes & Noble and University Unions examined their relationship and realized it was mutually beneficial to renew the lease.
Swanigan believes the current construction has not diminished the store’s supply, and students will not be affected by the renovations. He added that the store operations will continue uninterrupted during the renovations.
Last March, Michigan Book & Supply announced they would close down their location on the intersection of South State Street and North University Avenue. Its owner, Nebraska Book Company,cited reasons that included its inability to compete with on-campus bookstore Barnes & Noble. The store was one of the only area stores that sells art supplies.
“With the closing of Michigan Book & Supply, we knew there was a request for more art supplies,” Swanigan said. “(Barnes & Noble) has certainly been working with the School of Art & Design to bring in more of the supplies that they needed.”
Despite the changes that will take place, Swanigan said that the renovations will be organizational and won’t affect the bookstore’s display or storage space.
“This renovation is only to relocate some things and change the layout,” Swanigan said. “We hope it will better serve the community.”
—Follow Amrutha Sivakumar on Twitter at @xamrutha.