Construction will begin on a computer retail store in the lobby of Pearson Hall this summer that will sell devices at a discounted rate.
Students, faculty, staff and alumni will be able to purchase discounted Apple, Windows and Microsoft computers, tablets and device accessories in store and online. In addition, the store will also offer device-repair services.
North Philadelphia residents will have access to the store’s repair services and be able to purchase some accessories, but not any products licensed to Temple students and staff because of their educational discount, said Cindy Leavitt, vice president of Computer Services who submitted the request for the store to the university.
“We wanted to make it as convenient as possible to service students on campus, and there is no place on Temple campus for you to be able to buy computer equipment directly,” Leavitt said.
In addition to Apple, Microsoft and Windows, the university is in talks with several other vendors like Dell, HP and Lenovo to consider selling their products at the new store, Leavitt said.
The store is expected to open in Fall 2018, officials said.
The Board of Trustees approved $846,260 for the design and construction of the computer store at its December meeting. About $600,000 to $650,000 of that total cost will go toward construction.
James Templeton, the director of architectural services for Temple’s Project Delivery Group, said the “concept design” of the store is finished, but the university is in the process of hiring an architectural firm to finish its final design. The university plans to have contractors bid on the design by spring.
“We are trying to make [the store] a real showpiece, almost like an Apple store, with lots of glass, a very modern look and simple finishes,” Templeton said. “From Broad Street, you will be able to look into the building and see the store.”
The initial design submitted to the Board included a sketch of the Apple logo on one of the store’s windows. However, the computer store is not directly affiliated with Apple.
The Computer Recycling Center, which is already in the lobby of Pearson Hall, will be connected to the new computer store, Templeton said. Students are currently able to purchase refurbished Apple and Windows products at the Computer Recycling Center at discounted rates.
Some students think the store is a positive addition to the university. Stephen Laubert, a freshman computer science major, said it’s a “smart move” to open a computer store on Main Campus.
“A lot of people may not be able to afford some of the higher quality computers that are able to run high-quality programs at the same time, especially artists who may be interested in mixing music or Photoshop, and things of that nature,” Laubert said.
“More advanced laptops and computers normally offer better software, so [students] can be more engaged and up to date with the cyber world and computer fluency,” he added.
Lindsey Glassberg, a senior English major, said she wishes the university brought a computer store to campus earlier.
“A lot of students can’t go off campus to get their computers fixed, and I think that there’s not really any place to go near campus to get a computer,” Glassberg said. “I used to bring a laptop with me to class that would constantly give me problems, so it would’ve been cool to have the option to look at new computers on campus. It would’ve been really nice if they had that earlier, especially device repairs.”
Students can also utilize the TECH Center’s Help Desk to rent out computers and tablets and receive assistance with their computer programming issues. However, the new store will be the only retail center for students to purchase products their professors may require and receive device repairs.
“We know that it’s hard for people to get to a place to get their computers repaired easily, so that’s exactly why we wanted to bring it to campus,” Leavitt said.