Starbucks comes to Muskingum University


By Staff Report

A local four-year university renowned for its successful academic programs across the state will have yet another amenity to help attract students to the small village of New Concord.

Coming soon to the campus will be a ‘we proudly serve’ Starbucks coffee stand, a comfort students have requested for at least the last decade when a Starbucks location opened in North Zanesville.

Stories from both those currently at the college and alumni highlight the great lengths students, faculty and staff would go to get their daily Starbucks fix.

It’s not uncommon for those commuting to campus to lug dozens of individual orders for those at the university, some for a small tip, gas money or just as a friendly pick-me-up for their caffeine-dependent colleagues.

When the university was undergoing extensive renovations to its campus library, the topic of a Starbucks stand being placed inside was heavily discussed on campus.

Under both the direction of student body president Taylor Little and Maggie Hale, in 2015 and 2016, respectively, the topic was brought up multiple times by members of the then nearly 40-member senate.

Ultimately, however, when the Roberta A. Smith University Library opened in the spring of 2016 it was without any such Starbucks coffee stand, a reason was not given publicly by the college.

Now under the leadership of President Dr. Susan S. Hasseler, who took office in the summer of 2016 and has been revitalizing and upgrading many programs, facilities and amenities, the university is announcing it will finally host the long-desired request of students to have a Starbucks on campus.

According to Michelle Ball, Executive Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications at the College, the university is undergoing a two-year renovation project to its Quad Center.

The upgrades will bring increased accessibility to the building, renovations to the campus casual dining option, The Bait Shop, and the creation of the Student Impact Center.

The building was long a contention for the university, who housed its student affairs and student government offices on the top floor as it was inaccessible for those with disabilities as the structure was without an elevator.

The bottom floor, which also required using stairs to access, was the location of the campus mail center and The Bait Shop, a convenience many students choose to use for their short lunch breaks between classes, far closer than the campuses two dining halls which were consolidated into one with the renovations of Patton Dining Hall in the fall of 2018.

With the hiring of Provost Nancy J. Evangelista in 2017, the university has been reevaluating its needs to accommodate all students and making investments accordingly for a better more fully accessible campus.

The two-year building project to the campus’s Quad Center, which started this summer, will include an addition of an elevator, providing full mobility access to the building’s lower and upper floors commonly known as the Top of the Center and Bottom of the Center.

The Quad Center will also feature an accessible restroom facility and stair chair lift connecting The Bait Shop to the campus Bookstore, which is also located in the building.

Through a partnership with the University’s dining service provider Aramark, the Bottom of the Center will be redesigned to expand the original area of The Bait Shop to include more room for seating and a larger kitchen for food preparation.

Former Vice President for Student Affairs Janet Heeter-Bass, who served the University for nearly three decades before her passing in December, had long encouraged students to push for the expansion of the Bottom of the Center as a more student-focused location.

Included in those expansions will be a ‘we proudly serve’ Starbucks coffee stand, just one of the many dining enhancements.

An exact completion date has not yet been set.