Bookstore opening delayed

by Beacon Staff • September 13, 2006

With the Emerson Bookstore now operating out of the basement of the Colonial Theater building, many students say they have had trouble getting their books in time for class.,The opening of the new Barnes Noble bookstore at 114 Boylston St., which was set for September, has been delayed several weeks due to unforeseen complications during construction.

With the Emerson Bookstore now operating out of the basement of the Colonial Theater building, many students say they have had trouble getting their books in time for class.

As reported in the March 30 issue of the Beacon, Barnes Noble took control of management of the campus bookstore when Emerson's contract with eFollett ended.

A ten-year contract with the bookstore chain began in May and a new bookstore was planned for fall 2006.

The location moved from a small space in the lobby of the Little Building to a large storefront adjacent to the Walker Building.

During the construction at the new location, plans called for a temporary bookstore in the Colonial basement until September 2006, when renovations on the new storefront were set to be completed, according to Andrew Mahoney, director of the auxiliary services.

Students were surprised, however, to find their bookstore still in the basement of the Colonial building.

Rebecca Greenwald, a freshman communication studies major, said she was looking for used textbooks in order to save money but found none available.

"The lines were ridiculously long and the room where they sell the clothes is so small," Greenwald said. "It's so ridiculous that they didn't have used anything. I went to UCLA this summer and they had rows and rows of used books."

Mahoney said the bookstore was scheduled to open Labor Day weekend, but a structural problem was discovered in the entry way.

"In the late stages of the project, deterioration of the steel underpinning to the storefront was identified," Mahoney said in an e-mail interview. "This was the last phase of the project and due to the physical layout, it was impossible to determine this any earlier."

Mahoney was unable to give a definite date for the opening of the bookstore, due to the complexity of the project, but said it would most likely open sometime late this semester.

For students, the temporary bookstore is already causing problems. Savannah McAnally, a freshman print journalism major, said she has had trouble finding selections for her classes.

"I ordered books online and they were all back-ordered, except for two," McAnally said. "I went to the bookstore and they didn't have them. I have a reading due and I had to make photocopies in the library to survive."

This late opening comes on top of several other delays the college has experienced with parts of other new buildings.

The Max Mutchnick Campus Center, located in the Piano Row residence hall, has also been late in opening its doors.

The center holds offices for several student organizations, including the Student Government Association, the Emerson Review, Greek Council, and EMCOMM, and was not open prior to the start of classes.

Temporary limited operating hours began on September 11, and will continue through September 18, when regular hours will begin.

Robert Silverman, former vice-president of administration and finance, and now a consultant on the Piano Row residence hall construction, could not be reached for comment.