Wake Forest students who anticipate the dark, underground, Hogwarts-style ambiance of Campus Grounds will be surprised upon walking into the new and improved student-run coffee shop.
The renovations of Taylor and Efird residence halls, which include the Campus Grounds space, were major projects the university worked on all summer to complete in time for students’ arrival this fall.
Though the exterior of Campus Grounds looks no different, this renovation was extensive. The shop has a completely different architectural layout which contributes to its updated, modern feel. The space is almost unrecognizable.
While there have been many changes, the staff has worked to ensure that the shop keeps its signature feel. Senior Emily Beeland, a Campus Grounds general manager, was instrumental in the redesign of the popular coffee shop on campus. She, along with General Manger Nick Hyman, was committed to creating a “new era of Campus Grounds while still maintaining the old feel.” They plan to keep hosting signature events such as Can-I-Poet showcases, and continue to work towards providing students with an ideal place to study and hang out with friends.
This renovation was much more than slapping on a fresh coat of paint and adding some new furniture. Campus Grounds has also upgraded their machinery and added new espresso and coffee grinder machines.
“New machines help bring better products to our customers so that Campus Grounds can be a place more people want to come and visit,” Beeland said.
Campus Grounds will still offer its signature lattes, nitro brew and of course local Krankies Coffee, but hopes to deliver an upgraded experience to students. Beside the register is where students can now find Campus Grounds’ case of pastries and treats, such as pumpkin bread and cookies from Camino Bakery.
However, Beeland and her team plan to start varying their daily order to include different muffins, breads and possibly cheese cakes, which are particularly well-known at the downtown bakery. When asked if they would be expanding their food selection beyond Camino Bakery, Beeland responded that they hope to serve bagels from Bagel Station or Sunshine’s in the future.
Sophomore Lisa Highet is a very frequent customer at Campus Grounds and a resident in Taylor.
“I really enjoy Campus Grounds because it reminds me of coffee shops near my high school in New York City,” she said. “I also think their coffee is great.”
When asked about the renovation, Highet responded that she was surprised to see the renovations upon returning to campus, but she thinks the shop has made good use of the space.
Sophomore Annie Cohen commented about how the removal of the Taylor lounge and the rest of the renovations, including Campus Grounds, create a more comfortable living situation for students living on the Upper Quad.
While these updates to Campus Grounds are exciting, Beeland looks forward to maintaining their small operation. Currently, the shop employs students who are a part of the work-study program, and they plan to keep it that way. They are as excited to bring new first-year students aboard as they are to have student baristas return from last year.
After asking Beeland about how this renovation will affect the business, she stated, “Campus is updating all around us with new construction. We just want to fit in that model and continue evolving and innovating to keep Wake, Wake.”
Taylor and Efird also underwent significant renovations this summer. Highet believes the school did do a good job with the renovation for residence halls, but the ongoing construction has been inconvenient. Cohen is also a current Taylor resident who particularly favored the removing of the Taylor lounge in the middle of the now open and grassy area.
“[I experience] more of a community feel which I appreciate because I see more people more regularly,” Cohen, a previous resident of South, said.
Certain amenities have improved, including bathrooms and air conditioning.
In addition, the book store in Taylor was also renovated. The university barber shop also moved out of Taylor this summer and across the Quad into Kitchin.
The renovations of Taylor, Efird and Campus Grounds come at a pivotal moment as Wake Forest is making other highly-anticipated changes on campus. The addition of Village Juice at North Dining Hall, the opening of the upgraded Chinese and Sushi station in Benson, and the ability to get seconds at the North Dining Hall are all recent changes made through Dining Services. With all the Quad residence halls renovated, the university can move on to making other needed changes in other residence halls.
Each of these changes has improved the dining options and residential living situations for many students.