At the start of fall quarter, it seemed as if everything was under construction. First the T building, then the wiped out parking lots and now the BC bookstore. The new location in the L building was previously a mini lounge and study area for students, but was abruptly gutted out to house what is now the new Bellevue College Bookstore. Even though the bookstore may seem to be up and running well, there is still a long ways to go.
According to Ray White, the reason for the renovations is simple. “Updates to the physical infrastructure are necessary to create efficiencies, accommodate modern bookstore operations and provide a better retail experience for BC students and visitors.”
For the general outcome, White hopes to see the bookstore adopt better lighting, additional soft spaces, improved customer flow and better retail displays.
“We’ll use our existing space better – serving students instead of storing textbook on shelves,” said White.
For Hana Waldenburg, BC student, the new renovation and location is nothing but a hassle and unnecessary change.
“I don’t think the L building is better because it was originally like… a place to study for students. The old location in B [building] was better since it was a centralized location at the front of the school where I could talk to registration, student services, have the cashier’s window and the bookstore all in one place. In L [building], there are classrooms upstairs and now people who want to study can’t just hangout downstairs. They have to find space upstairs,” said Waldenburg.
As for what could make the renovation a little bit better, Waldenburg said, “It’d be amazing if they had a more efficient way to get people their textbooks rather than standing in a line for an hour to find out.”
In the end, Waldenburg admitted, “I literally have no idea why they renovated it. I liked the bookstore the way it used to be.”
White stated that the L building is not an ideal location for the bookstore and that it is definitely only “on loan” for the BC students.
“It was designed to be a student lounge/study area and has been a very successful and popular serving that purpose. Also, I believe the existing bookstore [B Building] location is ideal because of its proximity to the parking garage and adjacent intake services. The remodeled space, along with improvements to the exterior plaza (north) will create a much better ‘front door’ for new students and visitors,” said White.
Bookstore employees; the assistant manager, and Deborah Klinger, Kristen Connelly, BC Bookstore director, were not available for comment and are unsure of the final finish date of the renovation.