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After months of renovation and construction, the new and improved Harvard Coop bookstore officially opened its doors on Friday.
With four floors of books and a full-service cafe on the second level, the renovated Coop offers customers a large selection of novels, textbooks, reference guides and magazines in an attractive setting.
"It's amazing," said Katie J. Wallach '99. "What an inviting place to browse."
According to Coop General Manager John Donaldson, the store has been re-designed to serve both Harvard students and faculty and residents of Cambridge.
Although Friday was designated as the formal opening day, shoppers were able to preview the new Coop last Wednesday and Thursday.
Many members of the Harvard community said they are thrilled with the transformation of the facility that has occurred.
Barnes and Noble took over from the Harvard Cooperative Society's management just prior to the renovation.
"Last time I was here, it was a mess," said Sam L. Wolff '93 as he gazed around the new Coop. "Textbooks were missing, and the management was horrid. Anything would be better, and this seems a lot better."
Donaldson stressed the importance of "building upon the heritage and history of the Harvard Cooperative Society" while introducing the corporate retail style of Barnes and Noble in the renovated version of the store.
So far, the new Coop has enjoyed a strong turn-out of customers, he said.
Last Friday's discussion and book signing with film critic Roger Ebert drew a crowd of more than 200 to the store.
"Sales are way ahead of projections," Donaldson said. "And customers have been really enthusiastic about the new design."
Additional promotional events have already been scheduled through December.
A piano series featuring Steve Heck is set to occur on the main level of the bookstore from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays for the next two weeks.
The children's department will host special visitors "Spot the Dog" and Santa Claus later in the month.
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