Interior renovations at the YSU bookstore begin Monday.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State University is spending about $1.6 million to expand its bookstore by 33 percent, hoping the addition will attract more attention to the location.
"It's kind of hidden away in Kilcawley" Center, said Ron Cole, YSU spokesman. "It needs some work in terms of visibility."
The university recently awarded contracts for interior renovations to the bookstore. Improvement work inside the store begins Monday while about $800,000 worth of exterior work began a few weeks ago, Cole said.
When it is finished in August, the bookstore's size will increase from 12,000 square feet to 16,000 square feet. The university will use most of the additional space to sell more YSU-related merchandise and operate a small convenience store, Cole said.
About half of the store is closed because of construction work. The store is using the Watson-Tressel Lounge adjacent to it on a temporary basis, Cole said.
The contracts for the interior work came in almost $60,000 under the engineer's $895,000 estimate. The contracts were awarded to:
UDSV Builders of Warren, general contractor, for $462,100. The estimate was $477,000.
UKomar Plumbing of Youngstown, plumbing and fire protection, for $70,995. The estimate was $75,000.
UA.A. Samuels of Youngstown, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, for $67,890. The estimate was $74,000.
UWaynco Electric of Mineral Ridge, electric, for $234,900. The estimate was $269,000. W.T. Leone/Tri-Area Electric of Youngstown was the low bidder on the electric contract at $210,238. But the company withdrew its bid, and YSU went with Waynco, the next lowest bidder.
The bookstore work is going on while the university builds a $12.1 million, 67,000-square-foot recreation center, also expected to open in August. Both projects are on the west side of Kilcawley, YSU's student center, and will be connected through a walkway, Cole said.
The Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center will include a fitness center, climbing wall, indoor running track and racquetball courts.