Students needing to grab a quick bite of food on the go will have to look no further than the old book store in the Roy L. Smith Student Center. The space, which has been cleared of Southwestern merchandise and school supplies, is being turned into a convenience store for students.

The first step is opening a mail room and copy center. Dick Merriman, president of the college, said “This area is being created in conjunction with a contract the college has signed with IKON to upgrade copiers and scanners across the campus.”

There will be a self-service copier available to students as well as a service window to the mail center for students to send and receive packages. The mail room and copy center will be open in the old Book Cave within the next month.

For the second part of the renovation, the college is working with Sodexo to add a convenience store to the area. “The convenience store will sell packaged foods and snacks and other items students and employees may want to purchase,” said Merriman. The Java Jinx will continue sell grilled food items and have seating available for students to sit down and eat.

The college is also working on plans to have outside vendors rent kiosk space in the convenience store to sell special products to students. Merriman said, “We’ll be talking with students about what they would like to see sold at the kiosk, but we’re picturing a rotation that could include products like sunglasses, cell phone services, travel services and other things.”

Not all students have been aware of the changes that are being made, but they are excited about the potential for the space.

Conner Drendel, elementary education sophomore, thinks the convenience store and print shop are a good idea. “Right now there is no place on campus like this. It will provide students with something fresh and new,” said Drendel.

College merchandise will also be available in the new store. Jason VenJohn will be running a logo shop, as well as selling hooded sweatshirts, t-shirts and other Southwestern apparel. The logo shop will be available for campus organizations to design and print shirts and other items. Merchandise will also be available to purchase online. VenJohn said the online website should be running within the next two or three weeks.

Drendel has a few ideas on how to make the new store accessible to students, including being able to make purchases using meal credits. “I throw out meals to friends all the time because I don’t use all my credits,” said Drendel.

The convenience store and merchandise shop will be completed when students return in August 2010.