Main Street in Montevallo, Alabama was filled with university students heading back to class and to the new Barnes & Noble at Montevallo bookstore to celebrate its grand opening. The newly renovated store is the culmination of a partnership between the University and Shelby County to redevelop the downtown.
The bookstore is the latest addition to the revitalization of downtown Montevallo by the Montevallo Development Cooperative District, a partnership between the university, city and county. Last month, the university celebrated the opening of its newly renovated classroom building in the former Alabama Power office complex, just blocks from the newly completed promenade sidewalk project that connects the university to downtown’s Orr Park along Boundary Street.
Vice President of Business Affairs for the University of Montevallo, DeAnna Smith, said the university has been pleased with Barnes and Noble College’s operation of the bookstore. “Our experience with them so far has been very pleasant,” she said. “I think they’re going to be a very can-do partner. They have that expertise and are willing to share it with us. ”
Smith said the new bookstore and promenade will benefit the university and local community, and the partnership has received great feedback from students, faculty and the local community. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive so far,” she added.
The new bookstore has been renovated to showcase the history and culture of the University of Montevallo. Purple and gold interior walls are adorned with photos from the school’s archives, and an expanded array of Falcon emblematic apparel is neatly stacked on shelves. “Our alumni are ecstatic about our purple and gold walls,” Bobby Hamous, Regional Manager for Barnes & Noble College said. “We wanted to give the students, alumni and the local community a store that would reflect their school pride, and I think that we accomplished that.”
There are several aisles of textbooks offering a variety of formats, including new, use, rental and digital, as well as a section with popular books and DVDs. The store also offers school supplies, backpacks, computer accessories, Falcon spirit apparel and a convenience area for snacks. “This new expanded space has allowed us to offer our students more of what they want and need,” said Bookstore Manager and Montevallo graduate Ashley Gothard. “The response we have received from our students has been tremendous. So far, everyone has been very happy with the store.”
Falcon pride is alive and well on the campus of Montevallo and the new bookstore will help to support students’ academic success and promote the school’s brand. The expanded selection of Falcon apparel has been a huge hit with alumni and students, according to Gothard. “That is something we’re looking to grow. We just can’t get enough of our purple and gold,” she said.