Bookstore could move to Tobin Lofts
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 16:10
The college bookstore could move from the basement of Loftin Student Center to the Tobin Lofts once the contract expires for Follett Higher Education Group, John Strybos, associate vice chancellor of facilities operation and construction management, said Oct. 11.
The contract expires in March, Gary O’Bar, district director for purchasing, said.
Tobin Lofts, a public-private partnership at the northwest corner of North Main Avenue and East Laurel Street, includes residential space, commercial space and a parking garage.
Strybos said the request for proposals is worded so that it’s possible that over the life of the contract, more bookstores may be needed or bookstores at existing campuses may need to be relocated.
O’Bar said on Aug. 2 the request for proposals went out and was due Sept. 20. He said four proposals were received.
O’Bar said the life of the contract would need to be negotiated, but it generally is four to six years.
The district currently has six bookstores: one at each of the main campuses and one at St. Philip’s Southwest Campus.
Strybos said the request for proposals implies that the bookstore in Loftin could be moved to the lofts, but “the RFP does not say it will be, or shall be or has to be moved.”
He said although there is space for another vendor in the commercial space of the lofts, the bookstore needs a vendor on contract before any decision is decided to relocate it.
Strybos said he does not expect the Alamo Colleges board of trustees to approve a vendor for the bookstore at the Oct. 30 regular board meeting.
“Now that vendor could be a bigger Luther’s or it could be the San Antonio College Bookstore, but until we have a vendor and until the Tobin Lofts space is complete, there’s no definite decision about that,” he said.
Stybos said instead of the relocation of this college’s bookstore, other possibilities include adding a bookstore at Playland Park, 2222 N. Alamo St., and this college’s First Responders Academy located off of Interstate Highway 35 South near Von Ormy, depending on the demand in the next three to five years. He said another possibility includes expanding or relocating St. Philip’s Southwest Campus bookstore.
David Mrizek, vice president of college services, said if the bookstore were to move to the Tobin Hill Lofts, he is unsure what would happen to the space occupied by the current bookstore.
“That is still up for discussion. We have not come up with any firm ideas,” Mrizek said. “The move of the bookstore would not occur probably for a year so we’ve got a lot of time to think about it, if indeed the bookstore is going to move.”