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$100,000 Follett Gift Will Help Build New Cayuga CC Bookstore

DATE: 01-20-2006

Celebrating its arrival as the new bookstore operator at Cayuga Community College, Follett Higher Education Group has also become a major donor to the college's Foundation.

Don Olsavicky, vice president of sales and operations with Follett, presented a check for $100,000 to Robert W. Pine, president of the Cayuga County Community College Foundation Board of Directors, on January 18.

Pine announced that the gift will help fund renovations to move the Auburn campus bookstore into Spartan Hall. He anticipates that the 2006 New York State budget will add a dollar-for-dollar match from the State University Construction Fund, realizing a total of $200,000 for the Foundation.

“Having surpassed the $1.5 million goal of our recent capital campaign, the Foundation is extremely pleased to receive this additional support from the Follett organization,” said Pine. “Students will enjoy a real improvement in the convenience and service of their bookstore, upon the completion of the renovations that Follett is helping to fund.”

The opening of the new store is set for January 2007 as part of the final phase of the college's master plan for Auburn campus improvements, approved by the Cayuga County Legislature in 1999.

Because of the low capacity of the college's current bookstore location?a small building near the library'students needing textbooks must sometimes queue up outdoors until traffic inside the store has eased. That facility will house maintenance operations beginning in 2007.

Moving the store into a newly designed space in Spartan Hall will do more than keep students out of the rain and snow, notes college president Dennis Golladay. “People will find more of the merchandise they look for in a good bookshop,” said Golladay, “including material for reference and leisure reading, along with their required textbooks.” An airy, well-lit layout will encourage browsing, and the store will also carry gifts, sundries, and Cayuga logowear.

Golladay added that in locating the bookstore near an updated Spartan Hall entrance and next to a refurbished Cayuga Caf? dining area, “the college will create a convenient hub that will serve as a natural gathering spot for students.”

The Follett contract took effect on December 1, 2005, and includes bookstore operations at both the Auburn and Fulton locations of Cayuga Community College. Follett Higher Education Group competed with several firms to win the five-year contract, overseen by the college's Faculty Student Association.

The family-owned Follett company, based in Illinois, is over 130 years old. Operating stores at more than 700 U.S. colleges and providing textbook sales and buybacks at 1,800 schools, it has become a leading used-book discounter.

Cathleen C. McColgin, provost of the college's Fulton Center and president of the FSA, foresees savings for Cayuga students as they benefit from Follett's inventory and distribution strength in used textbooks. “The students and faculty serving on the FSA's bookstore selection committee did a thorough, detailed job of soliciting and examining proposals,” she said. “The group made a careful, informed decision that will serve the college well.”

In thanking Olsavicky for the Follett donation, Foundation president Pine commented on the new system for inventory and cash control already in place at the bookstore for the spring 2006 semester, and noted an upgrade in merchandise on the shelves. Olsavicky explained that Follett's expertise is in updating store systems to take advantage of the company's nationwide data network while tailoring merchandising to local, and loyal, campus customers. As examples, he showed off two popular items from the Cayuga store's clothing racks, a sweatshirt and cap emblazoned with the college name.

“Students aren?t even back for classes yet but they?re coming in for their books and snapping these up, too,” said Olsavicky.

With over a century of experience in the bookselling business, he added, Follett's goal is “to help Cayuga's bookstore succeed by sharing the knowledge that has helped us succeed.”