New Alma Mater Merc store now nearing completion
By Johannes Becht
"This is going to be where the clothing area is," Ashley Hancock says, pointing to a large area, filled with brown-colored shells. Though there is no clothing yet, it becomes clear how the new Alma Mater Merc store in Mann Hall at SWOSU will eventually look - once it's finished.
Hancock is the director of the Merc and very excited about the new store that was initially supposed to come to fruition in summer 2020. In late September, Hancock predicted an opening around the end of October / beginning of November. But certain factors delayed the project.
"It just took a little bit longer getting things organized and also getting some specific permits in different things that we needed," Hancock explains. "We wanted to make sure and do it right. But I think time-wise it's been worth it, because it's just a beautiful project."
With the project near completion, it becomes obvious what she means by that. The wall between the former bookstore and convenience store was torn down. The result is a large, spacious room. The design - mainly consisting of grey, white, and blue colors, furthermore combined with brown shells - is innovate and inviting and definitely has the potential to make Alma Mater Merc a new spot for students to hang out.
This is because the new Merc is not only going to be a simple store that offers groceries and merchandise. It will also include a lounge area to hang out or study, tables and booths, a coffee shop, and an IT Helpdesk.
Although Hancock is not yet able to predict when exactly the Merc will be opening, it is likely that it could be March. A big opening party is not on the agenda though - due to COVID-19.