Charles Nailen/The Hoya The bookstore is undergoing renovations

After being closed for three days for the construction of an elevator shaft, the newly- renovated Georgetown University Bookstore is open and back on schedule for completion by late ay.

Though the construction fell behind after a cold December, Whiting-Turner Construction Company has indicated that the project will be completed in time for University President Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J., to see the finished bookstore that officials say he envisioned for a school of Georgetown’s size before his tenure ends in late June.

Jim Kuhlman, director of the Main Campus, Medical Center and Law Center bookstores has helped to renovate all three bookstores’ interiors in the past few years.

According to Kuhlman, O’Donovan spearheaded the effort to renovate the bookstore, which he believed was inadequate for a university of Georgetown’s scale.

He said that the main campus bookstore project has been the most extensive because it included the construction of a new second floor. The space will increase from approximately 14,500 square feet to 24,000 square feet after improvements.

Starting last June, the shell of the new space was made out of reinforced iron on the site of the old Leavey esplanade in order to expand the current bookstore.

The new second floor will contain textbooks as well as a common space designated for student meetings, poetry readings, book signings and a study lounge. Georgetown apparel, gifts, cards and books for general sale will remain on the ground floor.

Over the past year and half, a committee comprised of students, faculty and alumni collaborated to help designers plan a space that would best benefit the university community. It made a great effort to take everyone’s ideas into account, Kuhlman said.

Farah Kaiksow (SFS ’01), general manager of Uncommon Grounds and an initial member of the bookstore planning committee, said she was concerned during early discussion that the bookstore would include a coffee house, directly competing with Uncommon Grounds. However, after a coffee shop was ruled out, she said she was no longer apprehensive about the new bookstore.

“People may come here to buy coffee then go study up there . but I think our customer base is committed to buying their coffee at Uncommon Grounds instead of Starbucks or anywhere else,” she said.

General student response to the project is good so far, according to Kuhlman, who said that students have been extremely impressed by the addition’s view, which will eventually overlook a newly landscaped esplanade. The second floor’s student meeting area will have an exit onto the esplanade as well.

“So far, it looks pretty nice. The student section has a lot of potential. It will be a better overall bookstore,” said Mike Inisko (MSB ’03).

During the interim period of construction, the bookstore has established a temporary location in Hoya Court in Leavey Center in order to provide textbooks and supplies to students. Accepted high school seniors who attended the Georgetown Admissions Ambassador Program were able to find Georgetown merchandise at a sidewalk sale over the weekend.

In order to alleviate inconvenience to students, the store management has attempted to inform the campus of the bookstore’s temporary closing to the entire campus through signs that were posted throughout Leavey, Kuhlman said.

In addition to adding student space to Georgetown’s student center, the new bookstore will also require increased employment to man the second floor, increasing job opportunities on campus, Kuhlman said.

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