The opening of Starbucks in Coates library has been delayed due to issues with permitting. The original projected opening date was Sept. 10, but that date has now been pushed back to mid-October.
“There are several inspections required,” said Paul Wright, director of business operations. “We have to work through the city to get permits. Once we get the permit, we have to get an inspection. We are waiting on permits from the city, so the permitting process has been one of the delays.”
Bruce Bravo, senior director of conferences and auxiliary services, explained that it is not unusual for the permitting process to delay a project for a substantial amount of time.
“There’s a reason why you have these steps to go through, to make sure that it’s done right,” Bravo said. “Safety is a big issue. That’s our concern.”
When the permitting process is complete, Starbucks will be able to install their store in the library.
“The plan right now is September 24th, Starbucks will bring their kit,” Wright said. “They have a team that comes in and will essentially install it. They will be here a week installing it, and then there will be some training time.”
Aramark is offering free coffee on the third floor of the library until the Starbucks is open.
“It was provided to serve customers temporarily,” Charles Robles, Aramark’s food service director, wrote in an email. “It was a great suggestion and it seems to be working out.”
Construction wasn’t the only change to the library this summer. This past July, pipes burst in the former EcoGrounds area; this incident was not related to the construction. However, over 600 library books in the HM and HQ call area, which contain social science books, suffered from water damage.
“Nobody was here, unfortunately, when it started leaking,” said Jane Costanza, head of discovery services in the library. “Some guy was walking his dog around campus and noticed there was water coming out of the corner of the library, so he called TUPD, and they went over there immediately, and they called the director of the library, and he got a team going and brought in some people to start moving the books out of the way and set up some fans. There was about half an inch of water on the second floor in that area.”
Approximately 250 of the books were unsalvageable and had to be removed from the library immediately. Those that were salvageable were given treatments but will not be re-shelved until the pipes are fixed.
“We’re in the stage of pricing out everything that was damaged, and we’re sending it up to the university,” Costanza said. “Normally in the library, we have an acquisitions budget, but the university insurance is going to kick in and help pay for these. It’s really unfortunate that it happened. I just hope it doesn’t happen again.”
The projected opening date for Starbucks is Oct. 15.