University debuts new Main Street bookstore
Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011
Updated: Thursday, September 1, 2011 03:09
Nearly one year after breaking ground and two months ahead of schedule, the new university bookstore on Main Street opened to the public Aug. 1.
The 3,800-square foot building has similar features to the now-shuttered Perkins Bookstore, and also contains a full-service Barnes & Noble, small Apple store and café.
While testing Mac products in the Apple section, junior Dan Bodack said the bookstore will be a staple in Main Street trips this year, though he said he will still survey other bookstores to compare prices.
Bodack said he is most excited about the mini Apple Store, and its proximity to campus.
"I feel like a lot of people are coming out just to check out the Apple Store," Bodack said. "That's what made us want to come here. [My friend] wanted to get an iPad, and said that we can check here instead of going all the way to the mall."
University spokesman David Brond said only university community members can purchase Apple products at the store because of a licensing agreement.
Students will also be able to take their products to the bookstore for repairs.
Brond said the bookstore, in partnership with Philadelphia retailer Springboard Media, will specialize in diagnostic help for Apple products.
"If you have a problem, we diagnose it at our store," Brond said. "If we determine it does need something more than we can do here, it's picked up and brought back within 2 days. It's a direct repair between Springboard Media and the customer."
Sophomore Amanda Klein said this service is convenient, and one of the most appealing features of the new store, recalling a time when she waited 45 minutes for the bus to the Apple store in the Christiana Mall. In the future, she said she will just go to the bookstore.
"I'm so excited, and it's so pretty," Klein said. "Basically, they have everything you need. Food, books, clothes and help."
According to David Singleton, vice president of facilities and auxiliary services, the university initially broke ground at the site during the last week of August 2010. Singleton said the store was slated to open in October, but instead opened in August.
Singleton said he was pleased with the construction, especially the early opening, and acknowledged that the building has sparked mixed reactions.
"There's been some interesting discussion about the architecture," Singleton said. "There are some people who love it, there are some that aren't sure, and I think that's fine. Everybody's entitled to their own opinion, and it's great to have a piece of interesting architecture on campus that people can debate."
Though the new bookstore's opening leaves the Perkins bookstore site vacant, once construction on Alison Hall begins in January, several departments currently located in Alison will relocate to the Perkins bookstore site, Singleton said.
The new bookstore's grand opening, which includes a ribbon cutting-ceremony, is planned for Sept. 1. Author and founder of the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Sam Calagione will discuss his book, Brewing Up a Business, at the opening.
After reviewing the features of the new store, Klein was left with a bold prediction for the upcoming year.
"Oh yeah," she said. "Everyone's going to be here all the time."