In July 2012, the Greenberry’s Coffee Co. on the first floor of Newman Library unexpectedly closed down. In its place remains a renovated, yet java-less student space.
Since the Greenberry's drop-out, Brian Mathews, associate dean for learning and outreach, has sought to secure a new tenant for the long run. His vision for the future of the space prioritizes student needs and efficiency.
During Greenberrys’ short run, the independent company failed to reach its projected profit goals, according to library communications and marketing manager Laura Purcell. Students also expressed their aversion to the expensive coffee, as well as the shop’s exclusion from dining plans.
"It just wasn't the right fit," Purcell said.
Meanwhile, Mathews plans to completely reinvent students’ expectations for the average library cafe.
“I want to cater to the particular students who occupy the library during late hours,” Mathews said. “Starting with the food, we are trying to introduce enticing night-time snacks, such as pizza bites.”
In addition to catering, new furniture is on the renovation agenda as well. In a presentation to liberal arts undergraduates, Mathews featured blueprints for futuristic seating and conference areas. These seating areas mimic high-tech corporate meeting rooms, equipped with laptop-to-TV hubs.
“The idea is to create an enticing learning environment where students can collaborate efficiently,” Mathews said.
The prospect of a new study hub seems to garner positive comments from students.
“This gives me just another reason to stay in the library now,” said Billy Ozycz, a sophomore business major.
“I'm pretty optimistic about the new renovations,” said Will Jones, a senior history major. “Hopefully we’ll be able to use our meal plans with the coffee shop.”
The library staff, with Mathews at the helm, has been in contact with various potential vendors. They hope to complete the construction of an independent coffee shop by the advent of the spring 2013 semester.
The project construction will be tedious, as optimum space is needed to allow for student traffic flow.
"(There are also) future unforeseen circumstances that may add delay to the project," said Purcell.
Until then, Newman library fequenters must await their nightly coffee fix.
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