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Stanford Bookstore renovations may hinder pedestrian mobility, but aim to increase efficiency of campus service workers

Parking installed to increase efficiency of campus service work as part of the District Work Centers project has closed off much of the passage between the Stanford Bookstore and post office. (HOLDEN FOREMAN/The Stanford Daily)

Recent renovations at Stanford Bookstore have closed off much of the passage between the store and the post office to make way for new parking spaces and landscaping. While the blockage may present an inconvenience for pedestrians who previously travelled the passage in large groups, the work is a step forward for the larger District Work Centers (DWCs) project occurring across campus.

The DWCs project, which began in winter 2018 under the Land, Buildings and Real Estate Department (LBRE), is aimed at “increasing productivity, improving service efficiency, and reducing travel time and expenses,” according to the Stanford HEADS UP campaign website, which informs the Stanford community of current construction activity. 

The DWCs Project will create four distinct, decentralized DWCs across the campus, each equipped with “office facilities with kitchenette, workshop and storage area, and men’s and women’s locker and shower space,” the HEADS UP website reads. This new model will enable “mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and grounds technicians … and equipment to be located in closer proximity to the buildings and customers they serve,” as opposed to the existing model of centralized shops located at Bonair Siding.

The Lasuen DWC is housed in the same building as Stanford Bookstore, and the new parking spaces between the bookstore and post office are reserved for Lasuen DWC electric service vehicles. The vehicles will be used to “transport heavy materials, tools, and equipment,” wrote the DWC team and bookstore management in an email to The Daily. This will “reduce the number of trips and driving time between maintenance calls, which ultimately reduces the traffic on campus.”

The smaller passage may prove to be an inconvenience for pedestrians and bikers in the Stanford community. However, because the bookstore and post office each receive multiple deliveries every day — often involving large trucks — the closure is “a safety measure for the members of the university community,” wrote DWC and bookstore management. 

DWC renovations at Stanford Bookstore began in December 2018 and were completed earlier this month. Though construction of the Lasuen DWC has been completed on office and retail space previously used by the bookstore — reducing the available space by roughly 1,500 square feet — the DWC is not expected to affect any of the services the bookstore normally offers. Bookstore employees will not be using the DWC. 

Stanford Bookstore, which opened in 1897, carries over 130,000 titles, as well as Stanford logo apparel, medical instruments, souvenirs and other supplies. 

The DWC team cited multiple areas where the project will improve LBRE’s efficiency. 

“The LBRE team will be able to respond to calls more quickly, get to know the buildings and systems in greater detail, and enhance its relationships with the clients and building managers to improve the operation, maintenance and appearance of the university’s teaching, research and residential spaces,” wrote the DWC team.

Contact Alena Zeng at alenazeng ‘at’ gmail.com.

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