Laker Store now open
Monday, April 13 marked opening day for the new Grand Valley State University bookstore, now called the Laker Store, in the Marketplace. Located inside the Science Laboratory building in Allendale, the store encompasses 15,000 square feet and offers two floors of supplies and apparel for students, faculty, staff and community members to take advantage of.
Jerrod Nickels, bookstore manager, said the planning for the Laker Store began three years ago. He and others saw this change as a necessity because of the ever-growing campus population.
“The bookstore space in Kirkhof was designed in 1973 when Grand Valley had 5,000 students,” Nickels explained. “We had clearly outgrown the space, even though we always tried to use it as effectively as possible.”
Not only is the new space twice as big as the Kirkhof location, but also it is “brighter and more appealing,” Nickels said. He added that the bookstore is more visible and more accessible for visitors, who will often drive right past the new location on their way through campus.
“We hope that the new store gives students a space that will be a pleasure to visit and a source of pride for the campus community,” he said. “I’m especially excited about the windows. It’s great to be able to see the campus from inside the store and wonderful that customers can see us from outdoors. It is our hope that the store will become a destination and a place that students will enjoy shopping.”
GradFest is the first event held in the Marketplace this week. Graduating seniors can stop by the second floor anytime from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to pick up their cap, gown and commencement tickets.
Although GradFest may not be a permanent event in the Marketplace, Nickels said it gives students the chance to visit the new space before they leave campus. He added that a grand opening event takes place in the fall semester as returning students get ready for another school year.
Auxiliary Services Director Doug Wentworth helped the bookstore team, a local moving company and vendors move the bookstore to its new location. Wentworth agreed with Nickels that the Marketplace was an important project.
“The bookstore, in its previous location, was one of the smallest in the country for a school our size,” Wentworth said. “We are able to design a space that we feel the students and GVSU community can be proud of, which allows us to provide the many services and products needed to help everyone be successful in their educational journey.”
He added that he hopes the Laker Store shows all guests the university’s pride and commitment to providing students with the best possible resources during their time on campus.
The second floor of Kirkhof will have more space for dining options in the absence of the bookstore. Renovations will start this summer and are expected to be completed in the fall.