Historic return to roots signals Gaskin changes
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GAMBIER — After eight long months of renovations, the Kenyon College Bookstore has officially reopened in its original location. The bookstore resumed operations there March 16, but held its grand re-opening and purple ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday morning.
Kenyon President Sean Decatur welcomed the crowd with a bit of history of the bookstore.
“This is a very exciting moment for the college and village community as we reopen the new version of the Kenyon bookstore,” he said. “This is actually the fifth location of the bookstore, which is likely cited as the oldest, continually operating college bookstore in the United States. This new location is bright, airy and a welcoming place. The bookstore has always meant more than just a place to sell books and Kenyon gear — it’s a place for people to hang out and study, read or knit. It’s a community gathering place.”
The new features in the location include: an updated interior, a brand new facade, second floor IT offices, updated lighting fixtures and a new sprinkler system.
“Everything is very modern now,” explained floor manager Heather Peterson.
Even with all of the updates, they have been able to reincorporate some of the iconic pieces from the old bookstore, such as the tables and chairs, which still have all of the carvings in them from students over the years.
The renovation features an open floor plan, where the books, school merchandise and grocery options have an open flow from space to space. According to Bookstore Manager Angus MacDonell, “We have updated lighting and we knocked out some walls to make everything more open and to put in more windows. But we will be maintaining all of the meeting spaces for students, local organizations or even knitting groups that have always utilized this space.”
MacDonell went on to say that the bookstore will maintain the late hours they have always had when students are in session, so they will remain open until 11 p.m. seven days a week. They will still have Velvet ice cream and some other food options available.
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