PUBLISHED: 4:59 PM on Wednesday, September 5, 2007
UAS Bookstore opens in new location
Students lined up for their textbooks on the first day of school, Thursday, August 25, at the shiny new University of Alaska bookstore. A hop, skip and a throw from the campus, it's now located at 11798 Glacier Hwy. in Auke Bay.

The bookstore had their private grand opening on Aug. 5, with 3,000 invitations to the Alumni Association.

"The bookstore moving was part of the University's 10-year plan," said bookstore manager Sara Hagen.

Photo by Amanda Gragert
  Jamie T. Daniels, a freshman health sciences major, holds her son, Richard Daniels-Duncan, as she scans the shelves of the new UAS bookstore. New student from Prince of Wales Island, Eric Robertson, far left, said he liked the new store.
The bookstore's location is the former student activity center in a new building that was built around three years ago, according to UAS director of Public Relations and Marketing, Kevin Myers.

Some know it as the old Gitkov building, a previous hardware store. The building is now owned by UAS, with additional occupants on its way.

"Human resources and the business office will be moving from the Bill Ray Center downtown to the area, so the building is essentially divided, and the other half will be administration," Myers said.

He said they plan on moving by the end of the semester.

With renovations starting in January, the finished space is near 3,000 square feet.

Eve-pleasing and spacious, it's packed with student needs as well as creative gift ideas.

"It's open to the public," Hagen said. "Because I've got more retail space, I've been able to increase the general book collection and gifts," she said.

Products include student textbooks, bargain books, dorm supplies, backpacks, clothing, yoga supplies and even iPod necessities.

"I've tried to focus on fair trade products, which are crafts from around the world done mostly by women's cooperatives in Africa and South America.

Gift products range from local pottery, weaved wire baskets, South American scarves, paper journals from Nepal and even jewelry from Chile, Mexico, Africa and India.

"I saw the old one (bookstore), but I like this one a lot better," said student Eric Robertson.

Another goal is to feature local author events, as soon as the dust settles, Hagen said.

As the old bookstore was hidden in the basement area of the Mourant Building, the new location is visible to people driving or walking by.

"People are so excited we're here; people feel a sense of ownership with the University as they've taken classes here," she said.

The University Bookstore is open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday.