Changes and renovations are happening around Western Carolina University besides the obvious mound of Carolina clay in the middle of campus. In the Hunter Library, Java City is going through a move and expansion and the Campus Bookstore is having a massive makeover.
By sometime in December, Java City will move to the location of the old snack bar according to Galen May, Western Carolina’s architect of the Facilities Planning, Design, and Construction department. The old location of Java City will be turned into the film and movies library.
May was enthusiastic about the project and said it will bring two major changes.
“First, it will allow the library to have more space in that front area,” Galen said.
“Secondly, moving Java City to the front walkway of the library will bring in a new customer base.”
The back of the new Java City will open into the library so book readers and studiers can still curl up with their cup of mocha while others can enter through the front doors while on their way to Stillwell or McKee. With more space, new juices, fruits, and grab-and-go type snacks will be added to the menu. Additional coolers and freezers will also give customers new choices they might not find at Starbucks or the Catnip Café.
“I don’t think (Java City) will be stealing away from Starbucks per say,” insisted May. “What one establishment does not have, the other will.”
Kellie Hayes, an employee of Java City, said, “I really like the fact that we will have a bigger location and that all of our stock items will be with us and not in the back. I like the idea of the new juices because now we’re not limited to only two types.”
Changes to the library will also include a new room being added next to Java City: a 25-person film-viewing room with a 52 inch viewing screen and a seperate eight-seat film-viewing room.
Construction costs for Java City and the new rooms are around $125,000 with $70,000 for new equipment.
The Campus Bookstore is also undergoing major changes. The interior is undergoing a complete transformation to make the store more modern and easier for students to move around in.
“Because we’re having to keep the store open… we’re looking at the first of April,’ Galen said on the completion date for the renovations. “We’re building it in stages. Seventy-five percent of the book return will be completed by December when students have to turn in their books.”
Changes include the ceilings being updated to look similar to the new dining hall’s. A new graduate center will also be constructed and shelves throughout the store will be updated with a more contemporary look. Also, the rental area will be expanded for an easier traffic flow of students.
The cost is estimated to be $685,000 paid for by revenue the bookstore has accumulated overtime.
“When both projects are done they should be zippy,” May said.