Old UNA bookstore to house new Student Engagement and SGA offices

The old campus bookstore in the Guillot University Center remains unused. Officials say renovations to turn it into a shared office for the Student Government Association and the Office of Student Engagement begin this November.

by Student Writer John Ed Dearman

Old things become new as renovations on the old university bookstore in the Guillot University Center begin this academic year.

The old bookstore in the GUC will become the new location for the Student Government Association and Student Engagement offices, said Assistant Vice President for Facilities Administration & Planning Michael Gautney.

“We realized that SGA had inadequate space, so when the bookstore moved out of the GUC and into the Commons building, the university decided to develop a new office space for SGA where the old bookstore was,” he said.

Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs Clinton Carter said the university initially underestimated the cost of the project.

“We went out to bid thinking that it was about a $350,000 job,” he said. “The lowest bid came back at $565,000. That’s almost double the price we initially thought.”

Gautney said the remodeling will begin in the next couple of months.

“We anticipate us being able to start this hopefully in November,” he said. “Remodeling will take the next two months, and we will be finished by the first of January,” he said.

The project will use up the remaining funds in the deferred maintenance budget for FY 16, Carter said in an email Sept. 22.

Gautney said the idea for the bookstore remodeling has been in discussion for a while.

The SGA offices have relocated several times, Gautney said. The university intends for their current location in the GUC to be temporary until the bookstore is remodeled.

He said a local architectural firm designed drawings for the renovations. The initial drawings included input from SGA President Nick Lang and Vice President of Student Affairs David Shields.

The renovations include two conference rooms, 10 offices, three storage rooms, a break room, a student work area and a receptionist office, Gautney said.

The current SGA offices previously were a faculty and staff lounge, and Gautney said it will return to that state once the remodeling is completed.

Freshman Diane Lopez said she thinks moving the SGA offices to the old bookstore is smart. She said the space needs to be used.

Senior Bradley Raburn said it is very resourceful to remodel the bookstore for SGA offices.

“It’s good to use something we already have rather than building something else,” he said.