New library slated to get Starbucks, virtual reality


Members of Lindenwood’s administration take a tour of the construction happening in the LARC, which is scheduled to be built by next fall.
Photo courtesy of Lindenwood Public Relations

Students will be able to sip a cup of Starbucks coffee while sitting in class when the new library opens next fall.

The new Starbucks coffee shop will be on one level, but a staircase will lead to a second-floor lounge.

The coffee shop will feel like a typical Starbucks, said Diane Moore, assistant vice president for facilities management. Starbucks will sell its merchandise at the new Lindenwood location and will have online ordering.

The menu will feature the same items that are offered at off-campus locations. Moore said the pricing will be determined by Starbucks.

The lower floor of the LARC is cluttered with construction debris.  Photo courtesy of Lindenwood Public Relations
The lower floor of the LARC.
Photo courtesy of Lindenwood Public Relations

Starbucks is partnering with Pedestal Foods to operate the store. A deal was struck between the two after President Michael Shonrock said he would like to see a Starbucks on campus. Pedestal Foods approached Starbucks, and the company liked the idea and the location, said Moore.

“It will be the same model as with Chick-Fil-A and Qdoba,” Moore said. “I am also sure they will hire from within to give student workers an employment opportunity at the new location.”

No information is available yet about whether students will be able to use their meal plan to pay for Starbucks’ products. The exact hours of operation also are unclear, but the building itself will be open 24/7, said Moore.

Student Hannah Vinyard said she is excited for Starbucks to come to campus.

“It is good coffee and a crowd favorite; I am sure many people will like it,” she said.

The new staircase under construction in the LARC.  Photo courtesy of Lindenwood Public Relations
The new staircase under construction in the LARC.
Photo courtesy of Lindenwood Public Relations

Shonrock said that the building will have some “incredible technology” that is designed to help students as they study in a highly technological age. He said that there will be an area for gaming designers, with virtual reality components installed.

Part of the building will house a viewing theater that can be used for film students, as well as a presentation space for classes, according to Shonrock.

With the access to such technology and space, Shonrock hopes that the building will be a meeting place for students across campus and that it will be able to provide a place for hands-on learning.

“In some ways, we hope that it will be like another living room for some students,” he said. “It’s a beacon of educational opportunity, and we hope that it becomes a gathering spot for students.”

According to the Lindenwood Doors to the Future campaign, the $21 million library also will house library collections, classrooms, multimedia labs with an editing suite, group study areas and student career services.

The construction of the new library is on schedule, Moore said. Administrators currently are in the process of picking out furniture. 

“It’s going to be an exciting building, designed to cater exactly to the students’ needs,” Moore said.