Mandi Cardosi, Staff Writer

Students may have noticed the new location of the Miami University Bookstore next to Haines Food Court- the first step in major renovations to the university bookstore.

Beginning in October, the university bookstore will undergo dramatic renovations.

According to Frank Koontz, director of the Miami University Bookstore, the changes will allow for more space and increased flexibility.

Koontz said funding is coming from the saved earnings of the bookstore itself, and when all is accomplished, total costs are expected to remain under $1 million.

The ticket center and bathrooms will be taken out and included as part of the bookstore, according to Koontz, allowing for an expansion of the overall space.

“It’s going to look really good,” Koontz said. “We believe the customers are going to like it a lot in the long run.”

Koontz said the bookstore’s upper floor will be the first to undergo changes and the merchandise located on that floor will be transferred to the basement and swing space, the previous TV area near the Haines Food Court.

Once the top floor is renovated, everything from the basement section will be moved to the new main floor.

There are also plans to expand the computer portion of the bookstore, Koontz said. He said the separation of Apple and Windows products will bring about more productivity for a customer-friendly atmosphere, allowing for a more “techy” look.

“We have needed to make these changes for years,” Koontz said. “There have been no major renovations since 1990.”

Additionally, Koontz said the bookstore’s existing stairwell will be rotated 90 degrees. A Clinique counter will also be added once the updates are made. Koontz said the counter will be in the center of the store, and when customers come up the stairs it will be the first thing in sight.

“I’m telling you, when everything is done it will be unrecognizable,” he said.

Junior Amber Billock said she is not surprised by the renovations. Billock said compared to other schools she has visited, Miami does not effectively meet its students’ needs.

“I know at the University of Kentucky (UK) they have makeup, iPod and even condom vending machines,” she said. “I guess it seems like other schools have already tried to adapt to the students more efficiently.”

Billock said UK has these machines located in places such as the student center and dormitory basements.

However, not everyone is excited about the new changes.

Senior Nick Plummer said the project is a waste of his tuition money, especially when the university is laying off employees.

“They’re asking for more money while people all over campus are being laid off and expected to do the same work for a smaller income,” Plummer said.

If everything goes as planned, the entire process should be complete by spring 2011.

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