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In the latest edition of College Connection, FOX 21's Dan Hanger takes you to the University of Minnesota Duluth where a dark, dingy old space for student is no more.
Life on the lower level of UMD has gotten a little brighter and a little more welcoming this school year. Just ask 22-year-old senior Katie Martineau.
"You can go up [and] someone will be there. Before, it was kind of like standing around or finding someone. But now there's a desk to go to," Martineau said.
Martineau is showing some excitement for, well, a bookstore. But not any book store. The new UMD Stores Lower Level that used to be compared to a dark cave.Manager Jeff Romano says the place has not seen a real update for 26 years.
"It was kind of a dungeon-looking place. It was really behind the times," Romano said.
But after a three-year re-design process, students can now compared the space to an Apple Store – well -- maybe not that slick but pretty close when you think of what college bookstores used to look like years ago.
"We want to keep students here at UMD. We want to make sure we have all the resources they need – whether it's computer products, a software product, an access code," Romano said.
The new space includes the typical pens, keyboards, and calculators. But there's also a new computer corner with laptops, iPads, MacBook Pros and tech help -- just like at a retail store.
"A lot of people like the new store just because it's more open. You can see a lot more," explained Brandon Salaba, a student at UMD and worker at the Computer Corner.
It's yet another improvement being made at a Northland college to continue to meet the demands of the ever-changing student.
"...making sure that we can adapt to whatever changes, whatever needs our students have on our campus," Romano said.