When walking into the Olmsted Center this week, Drake students will notice a big change. Instead of quiet study spaces around Pomerantz Stage, blue and white apparel hangs from the racks. Books fill the shelves inside the newly relocated bookstore.
“This move presents a great opportunity to bring Drake-branded items, as well as textbooks, closer to students, faculty and staff,” Chief Administration Officer Venessa Macro said. “This is a common model across the country (housing the bookstore in the student center) and there are good reasons for this.”
Besides gaining a more convenient location in the student center, the bookstore moved because its former location on Forest Avenue is the location for Drake’s new occupational therapy (OT) program. The bookstore building has a very open floor plan, which is beneficial for the lab work to be done in the OT program.
With more students ordering their books online, fewer books need to be stored on-site in the bookstore. The new location in Olmsted is smaller but allows merchandise to be showcased on the floor with the books stored in a smaller area.
“The move has already taken place and the new bookstore is open for business,” Macro
said. “Students are encouraged to utilize the online ordering feature for textbooks to streamline the pick-up process.”
However, the bookstore replaced much of the space in Olmsted formerly used for recreation and study areas. Student Senate played a major role in gathering student feedback for what new study spaces should look like.
“There were a wide variety of things that students wanted for Olmsted,” Vice President of Student Activities Nick Jenderko said. “But general trends were upgrades to existing furniture and more areas to be able to study.
“Due to this feedback, this allowed us to adequately communicate with administration as to how the student body would like to see Olmsted transformed this year.”
As a result of these surveys, new furniture is planned to be added in lower Olmsted, in the Pomerantz Stage area, and the mezzanine upper lounge.
Students can already see new tables, chairs and furniture for collaborative work. More furniture will arrive over the next few weeks.
“While the change will certainly be an adjustment for many people, we think it will provide a lot of advantages for students in the long-run,”Jenderko said.
The TMR rooms in lower Olmsted will continue to be available for free use when they are not reserved.
Students may be looking for the pool tables when they walk into Olmsted, but they were moved outside the C-store with the other pool tables to create a more social space for students.