WKU Store prepares for reopening in Downing Student Union

Textbooks fill the shelves in the new WKU Store. The store will hold a soft opening Aug. 20 and will be open for normal business to students the following day.

Elliott Pratt

The final touches of phase one of the Downing Student Union renovations are coming to a close.

Textbooks are already stocked among the shelves of the new WKU Bookstore on the first floor of the Student Union – formerly known as DUC – scheduled to reopen in a few weeks.

The Fresh Food Company, Starbucks, and YoBlendz will also open on the first floor in the fall.

Jim Sears, assistant director of operations at the WKU Store, said solid communication between the store and the construction crews has made the month long transition from Garrett Conference Center to the Downing Student Union very smooth.

“The folks we have been working with have been very cooperative,” Sears said. “We’ve had to share some space and work around the construction, but it hasn’t been too bad. You’re talking about everyone is sharing one bay, one road, one staging area. For everything involved, it’s been pretty smooth.”

Sears said there will be a soft opening of the store before the grand opening.

Summer Bolton, graphic designer for Auxiliary Services, said the soft opening on Aug. 20 will be for everyone who had a hand in making the renovations possible.

“We’re calling it a preview appreciation event,” Bolton said. “It’s honoring those who have been involved with the transformation of DUC from the beginning. It’s involving architects, our planning and design team, SGA representatives, Board of Regents; everyone who made this possible.”

The grand opening of the WKU Store will take place on parents weekend, the date of the first home football game Sept. 21, but the store will be open for normal business when students come back for the fall semester.

“We thought that would be a great time for a grand opening,” Bolton said. “It’s the first home game, so it coincides with a lot of big events and we wanted to jump on that.”