Former bookstore space to be repurposed

The Office of the Dean of Students announced last August a feasibility study to examine repurposing the space vacated by the bookstore. The planning committee included staff members from the Dean of Students
offices, Dining Services, and Campus Planning and Construction, as well as student representatives from Vanderbilt Student Government, the Multicultural Leadership Council and other student organizations.

Since August, opportunities, including an online submission box, Twitter, and Facebook, have been made available for students to express their opinions and ideas about use of the space. In mid-September, more than 1,300 students provided ideas and suggestions through focus groups, surveys, and videos.

This valuable student response, along with results of the feasibility study conducted by Gresham, Smith and Partners, assisted in creating a renovation plan that will affect future use of the Sarratt Student Center
and Rand Complex.

The renovation proposal was approved by the university and the Dean of Students office has announced that the renovations will address the following:

  • An additional dining option located on the main floor of the former bookstore, which can also serve as an event space for student performances and social gatherings.
  • A redesigned Rand Dining area to allow for better traffic flow and additional seating during peak times.
  • A new campus store located on the main floor of Rand provide class supplies along and items typically stocked at the varsity market.
  • Up to seven additional meeting and conference rooms available for student organizations, including a meeting room overlooking the Wall and a new seminar room.
  • An extensive student organization and leadership suite that will provide resources, support, and a home for all student organizations on campus. The central location will serve as a hub for current student organization members as well as for those students seeking involvement. The space will provide areas for formal and informal meetings, poster/banner preparations, and collaboration on projects and programs. Overall, the space will create a strong sense of community and be a home that will meet the needs of all 300+ student organizations.
  • Centrally located offices for the Office of Active Citizenship and Service, which will move from the Community Partnership House into this space. This office engages many students in a variety of programs, and its central location and visibility will enable even more students to have exposure to service learning and critical thinking opportunities.
  • Centrally located offices for the Office of Leadership Development and Intercultural Affairs and gathering space for our numerous multicultural student groups.
  • Enhanced space for Arts and Creative Engagement, providing rehearsal space for our numerous and very talented performing groups.
  • A number of informal meeting areas and social spaces for interaction and engagement throughout the center.

The goal is to have the majority of work completed by Fall 2012.

Dean of Students office will be soliciting student ideas and suggestions on the proposed floor plans and design after Thanksgiving break. Updates on the project are available to students by visiting the Sarratt renovation website and Facebook.