Cal Student Store to temporarily relocate to Bancroft

Katherine Chen/Staff

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The Cal Student Store will close next Friday and temporarily move across the street to 2470 Bancroft Way due to ongoing construction on Lower Sproul Plaza.

The main student store will relocate from its current location in Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union and open on Feb. 19 across the street, next to Ned’s Berkeley Bookstore, as part of the Lower Sproul Redevelopment Project.

In preparation for textbook buyback season and summer sessions, a portion of the Cal Student Store is also slated to move into the building currently being occupied by Ned’s Bookstore, a space that the Cal Student Store will now use to keep its supply of rental, used, new and digital textbooks, according to a statement released Wednesday. This section will open in March.

Cal Student Store Director Amanda Reese said that the ASUC and ASUC Auxiliary have been in charge of informing students of the move via signs. However, some employees at Ned’s Bookstore became aware of the relocation only recently.

“We were told about one or two weeks ago,” said Ned’s Bookstore employee and UC Berkeley senior Carlos Zambrano. “No one really expected it. It was just really sudden. We had to take everything off the shelves because they’re moving in here.”

Once Ned’s Bookstore moves out of its Bancroft location, the Cal Student Store will be the only textbook retailer in the campus’s immediate proximity. The store’s parent company, Nebraska Book Company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2011; however, it is not confirmed whether this was the cause of its displacement.

Some students do not believe that the Cal Student Store’s move will be an inconvenience to customers due to its relatively close location.

“I don’t think it will be an inconvenience on students just because it’s so close to where it used to be,” said UC Berkeley freshman Kushal Ranjan.

Whether the move will affect the Cal Student Store’s staffing levels remains to be seen and will be assessed “based on business needs,” according to Reese.

When the Cal Student Store closes, the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union will be completely closed and fencing will surround the building to allow its renovation.

“I’m excited the work is moving ahead,” said Christine Shaff, communications director for UC Berkeley Facilities Services. “Once the bookstore is moved out, the MLK will be completely closed and be part of the construction site.”

The Cal Student Store’s move is part of the larger Lower Sproul Redevelopment Project, which is scheduled for completion in 2015. The project involves the renovation of Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, Anthony Hall, Cesar Chavez Student Center, Zellerbach Hall and the complete demolition of Eshleman Hall.

Gladys Rosario covers academics and administration. Contact her at [email protected].