The work is part of a $19 million effort to upgrade the university.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A $1.6 million, 4,000-square-foot addition is transforming the Youngstown State University bookstore into a virtually new facility.
Workers are adding the finishing touches, like hanging signs in the bookstore, but the construction is 98 percent done, said Charles Sabatino, bookstore director. The building, which will total 16,000 square feet, is expected to be completed by the start of classes.
"We want our students and the community to come and enjoy their bookstore," Sabatino said. "We hope that it will be a meeting place for students."
Seating areas have been designed into the bookstore's layout. The furniture, including leather couches, will be in place next week.
The bookstore now features a storefront look with large windows allowing soft sunlight to stream in on the fresh wood and tiles.
It also boasts a 750-square-foot convenience store that features food and beverages, including hot coffee and ice cream.
Construction began in February and has progressed in phases. The portion that sells textbooks opened in mid-June, and the convenience store opened about two weeks ago. The rest of the merchandise was moved in Monday.
The main corridor of the bookstore runs from Kilcawley Center to the nearly completed Andrews Recreation and Wellness Center. The walls of the corridor feature large glass windows.
School spirit is visible throughout the bookstore. The carpet includes the YSU logo, the tile floor has a Pete the Penguin inlay, and a children's-size table in the trade book section bears his likeness.
There are new lines of YSU logo apparel, including more Russell Athletics workout clothing.
"We have many more styles of clothing designed for women, things that are cut especially for them," said Eva Gucwa, merchandising coordinator. "We have a lot more of things that are in style, in the colors of the season."
The bookstore also has more cash registers than in the past, with a total of 16.
Susanne Fox, associate director of the bookstore, said they are planning to have more special events to bring in the public.
A corner near the front of the store features trade books and a section for children's books. It's an area they have been trying to build up, Fox said.
"We are getting a lot of positive reactions," Sabatino said. "It's really a great feeling."
Bookstore coordinators believe the new facility, with the wellness center, will draw more students to YSU.
Work on the bookstore is part of a $19 million project this summer to upgrade YSU, and includes the wellness center and enhanced campus parking.