AVON PARK — The South Florida State College bookstore will soon undergo more than $175,000 in facility and equipment upgrades with a new operator taking over the facility on July 1.
The college’s Board of Trustees approved recently a six-year contract with Follett Higher Education Group, which has 940 stores nationwide including 62 stores serving 30 colleges and universities in Florida.
The bookstore, which is located in Building B, has been operating for seven years by the Nebraska Book Company, which changed its name about two years ago to Neebo.
SFSC Administrative Services Vice President Glenn Little said the college’s Bookstore Advisory Committee, which included faculty, students and staff, considered proposals from four bookstore operators, including Neebo.
Follett’s proposal was selected as the “most advantageous or best for the college,” overall for students, faculty and the college, Little said.
Follett’s proposal offered the greatest compensation to the college at an estimated $1,140,858 over the course of the six-year term, according to the Board of Trustees meeting agenda.
The book company is offering $36,000 worth of scholarships to students and a total of $178,000 in facilities, equipment and systems for the bookstore.
The technology offerings of Follett are strong so that a “robust” portal for students and faculty is expected, the agenda noted. Profit margins for pricing are within industry standards.
Follett wants input from the college about the appearance of the bookstore, Little said. The company, with its proposal, submitted color charts with examples of flooring and other details and provided examples of what bookstores look like.
The bookstores are individualized for each campus, he said. “Their designers will go to work based on the space we have and how it is currently laid out and then they will come back with some proposals for what it would look like in the future.”
The bookstore may have to be closed for a week during its renovation, Little noted.