by Cameron Beck and Amy McIff
Construction has begun at the University Campus Store’s north entrance where a new stairway will be added to connect the store entrance and patio with the sidewalk above. The renovation aims to create a more attractive and enjoyable environment for students and enhance access to the store with a more functional pedestrian pathway. The project is set for completion at the beginning of May, prior to university commencement. During construction, the north entrance will only be accessible via the eastern stairs; the ramp on the northern side will be blocked. ADA access will remain at the store’s south entrance.
The north entrance renovation is the final step in a large-scale remodel of the University Campus Store, which began in spring 2015. Since then, the store has taken on a much more attractive appearance with the addition of cherry wood wall paneling and updated merchandise fixtures and displays. The store’s floor plan was significantly rearranged to better accommodate visitor traffic and the addition of a Starbucks coffee bar and seating area has created an inviting atmosphere for patrons to take a quick shopping break.
All of these improvements are steps the University Campus Store has taken to enhance the learning, studying and living environment of University of Utah community members. The ultimate goal of the Campus Store is to serve as the number one source of support for students, faculty and staff while helping to reduce the overall cost of education.
“Opening up more programmable space for use by students, faculty, staff and other campus visitors is always a good thing,” said Dan Archer, director of the University Campus Store. Once completed, the lower patio will feature a sitting area with tables and chairs, along with amphitheater-style seating on either side of the stairway. The added leisure space, coupled with the enhanced access, will make for a much more practical and useful community space.
“The existing configuration with the planter box barrier made access from the Union and Park buildings difficult,” said Shane Girton, senior associate director of the University Campus Store. “This renovation will make entering the store much easier for those on the north side of campus and when the project is finished, we believe this will quickly become a popular area for gatherings and between-class breaks.”
Throughout the duration of construction, the University Campus Store will maintain regular business hours, which are Monday though Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.