By Melissa Turosik and Laura McDonough
Over the summer, many new updates have been made to the Youngstown State University campus.
The bookstore, previously located in Kilcawley Center, moved to a new location on Fifth Avenue. The project to renovate the old space is currently on hold.
Eddie Howard, associate vice president for Student Experience, said the state requires an assessment to ensure they have the right number of exits and restrooms in the new space.
“Because we’re changing the purpose of that particular space from what it was — a retail book store — to a recreational space for students, we have to make sure the occupancy numbers are correct. In doing that we must send it to the state and say this is our purpose, this what we want to do and they have to tell us these are things you can and can’t do,” Howard said.
Howard said they want to build a wall in what was the textbook side of the store to create the Penguin Plugin, a place for students to charge their phones and serve as a sort of Genius Station. That side of the previous store will also feature office space for Student Government Association and the Student Activities Office.
Once he gets approval from the state the project will move forward. If everything goes according to plan, the area will open in October or November. If not, it could be as late as January.
Ana Torres, interim library director of Maag Library, talked about new updates and additions to the library. Torres said visitors will see the most visible change once entering the library.
“The main lobby and entrances were painted and new furniture welcomes you, offering increased seating options,” Torres said. “You may lounge individually in one of the comfortable chairs, sit at café style tables, gather as a group in the multifunctional updated areas, or if you wish, rearrange furniture to work collaboratively with others. Charging towers placed throughout the lobby allow you to keep your cell phones and electronic devices charged at all times.”
The computer lab was moved from the fourth floor to the first floor to make it more convenient for students and to locate them closer to library staff for assistance.
“Computing, printing and scanning services are now available on the main floor in the reference room,” Torres said. “This combination of services, present in other academic libraries, allows students more convenient access to technology resources while being in close contact with library staff who can offer specialized research assistance.”
Summer Barker, architect at YSU, talked about updates to Meshel Hall. Barker said the first and third floors of Meshel Hall were renovated and reorganized.
“The communication department utilizes most of the first floor with speech capture classes, a group innovation classroom and the Mac lab. The [computer science and information systems] department is structured on the third floor with general and specialized computer labs,” Barker said.
The renovations include new flooring, paint, lights, ceilings and classroom furniture. There were also upgrades to mechanical, electrical and technology systems.