Construction has been underway all summer on the new College Store and new science facilities on campus. Vassar is always changing and evolving and as students arrive on campus, either returning or coming for the first time, they should keep an eye out for Vassar’s latest improvements.
At the beginning of May, The Vassar Bookstore moved off campus and into what used to be the Juliet Theatre across the street on the corner of Raymond Ave and Collegeview Ave and became the College Store. The College Store is no longer affiliated with Barnes and Noble Bookstore and is, instead, an independent co-op. Now, the store can sell books and merchandise at a cheaper price.
“Because we are independent, we will be balancing the needs to students while still operating toward the goal of at least ‘breaking even’ as a small independent business,” wrote Vice President of Finance and Administration Robert Walton in an emailed statement.
“If we see that students have the choice to buy a textbook online at a much reduced price, we have the independence to lower the price and allow students to have a greater ability to buy books locally,” he added.
Store manager Paul Maggio wrote in an emailed statement that the store will still sell new, used and rentable textbooks in addition to their digital versions.
However, the new store is looking to go beyond books and Vassar merchandise, offering more gift options and non-Vassar items. “Although the store will sell course materials at the beginning of each semester, beyond those months, there will be almost no books in the store which is why we call it the Vassar College Store, not the Vassar Bookstore,” explained Maggio.
The College Store also presents a new dining opportunity for Vassar Students as it is partnering with the restaurant BurgerFI, an eatery new to Poughkeepsie. The burger joint will serve diner staples—burgers, hot dogs, french fries, and milkshakes—and accept VCash.
The College Store and BurgerFI officially opened its doors on August 21, but will have a grand opening during the Arlington Street Fair in mid-September.The store will be entirely run by Vassar employee managers and staff.
Walton and Maggio both say the space will be reminiscent of the old theater with “modern design with bold colors and references to the history of the building as the Juliet Theatre.” Walton added that the store will have solar tubes and draw in natural sunlight.
The space in the College Center where the old store was will be used for extra teaching and laboratory space during the completion of the science facilities.
“The administration is now conducting a study of how to expand and enhance the student use and spaces in the College Center, including the lower level, to be completed during the summer of 2015,” said Walton.
The new science facilities are still under construction with the Bridge Building as well as within Olmsted Hall. The Bridge building won’t be finished for another 18 months, said Walton, but Olmsted plans to open for the spring semester.
“Olmsted has been enhanced during the construction to improve some of the infrastructure, upgrade some spaces, and provide a connection to the Science Bridge,” added Walton. Construction is on schedule for the overall science complex project, however, and Sanders Physics and New England building are completed, though, and will be open for classes this semester. Both are completely renovated and beautiful.”