By Rachel von Gnechten
A number of changes to Furman’s campus and facilities took place during the summer, including renovations to the campus bookstore and student housing. Housing and Residence Life intends for these changes to improve the quality of student life on campus.
The most notable renovations occurred to the Furman bookstore. Last November, Furman allowed Barnes and Noble to buy out the bookstore in hopes that a new vendor would offer more affordable textbooks for students. The bookstore planning committee also envisioned the bookstore as a place where students could study, talk and hang out.
The renovated bookstore includes two new entrances, a fireplace and a Starbucks café. Much like a Barnes and Noble retail store, the Furman bookstore will sell a variety of bargain books and pleasure reading selections. The textbook section will also include rental and e-book options to lower costs for students.
Housing renovations covered only the North Village apartments and Lakeside residence halls. Most notably, construction began on a geothermal project in North Village over break. The four-year project falls under the annual refurbishment schedule, aiming to provide a more sustainable energy system for buildings A, B and C.
Additional refurbishments include new paint and carpet and the installation of platform-style beds. Wireless internet should be available to the entire North Village housing community when students arrive this fall, according to an email sent out to students by Director of Housing and Residence Life Ron Thompson. New washers and dryers were added to the North Village laundry rooms.
In Lakeside, Haynsworth was the first residence hall to undergo renovation. Each dorm received a fresh coat of paint and new carpeting, dressers, desks and chairs. New countertops and floors were installed in Haynsworth kitchens, and all Lakeside kitchens received new appliances, tables and chairs.
With all Greek halls moving to Lakeside, sorority and fraternity letters are now displayed together on the outer wall of Chiles, facing the lake. In addition, three composite cabinets have been installed in each of Lakeside’s twelve halls.
The summer renovations are the first phase of the university’s long-term plan to improve housing over the next several years. The complete Housing Master Plan is available for download on the Housing and Residence Life page of Furman’s website.