Breaking ground for the bookstore expansion and Sufficient Grounds addition.

Students will soon have another place to connect on campus.

“It’s exciting to see Bethel growing and doing things for its students,” says Mahala Miller (’15), who is involved in Bethel’s honors program called BUILD.

Miller was one of several key Bethel leaders and constituents who took part in the groundbreaking ceremony held outside on the south side of the bookstore on May 16.

The project will also include a spot for the campus coffeehouse, Sufficient Grounds.

“This came out of a desire to bring together the functions of the coffeehouse and bookstore,” says Ed Bernhard, Bethel’s director of auxiliary services. “It will serve as a gathering place for students and faculty. Its location will also make it more accessible and convenient for folks to patronize it after events in the Everest-Rohrer Chapel/Fine arts Center and athletic events in the Wiekamp Athletic Center.”

On the bookstore side there will be expanded space to allow growth in areas such as consumer electronics and a convenience store. It will also include space for reading and study. The coffeehouse side will offer space similar to the current location on McKinley Avenue, but with the addition of some meeting space and a “stage” area to host “unplugged” acoustic events.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of donors whose desire is to enhance Bethel’s campus for the benefit of our students,” says Bethel College President Steven R. Cramer, Ph.D. (’75) “Without such friends of the college, a project of this nature at this time would not be possible.”

Construction for the $1.1 million facility is expected to be completed in November 2012. Sufficient Grounds will still be open at it’s current location on McKinley Ave. until Nov. 1.

Watch footage from the groundbreaking: