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John Carroll University officials want to open a university bookstore and coffee shop in nearby Fairmount Circle as a way of expanding into the neighborhood and drawing attention to the school.

Jonathan Smith, vice president and executive assistant to JCU President Robert Niehoff, said university representatives have already checked out the former site of a CVS Pharmacy, located in a highly-visible spot on Fairmount Circle just steps away from campus.

Thousands of commuters pass through the circle, at the intersection of Warrensville Center Road and Fairmount Boulevard, daily.

The former pharmacy would be a good fit for the proposed bookstore, Smith said, but the project needs approval from the city of Shaker Heights. And, even with approval, Smith said the move isn’t imminent.

Shaker Heights Mayor Earl Leiken did not respond to a phone call seeking comment on the matter.

JCU hopes the move will happen in “the next couple of years” as part of a master plan to add more student housing, parking and recreation areas.

The university bookstore currently is located in the atrium of the D.J. Lombardo Student Center and is operated by Follett Higher Education Group.Smith said the atrium space vacated by the bookstore would be set aside for students’ use, perhaps for a lounge or something else.

The proposal to move the bookstore off campus is a deliberate one, designed to draw in the community and “use more of the front of campus.”

JCU is located in University Heights, but the section of Fairmount Circle where the bookstore might go is in Shaker Heights. Smith said the university is in talks with city officials about “a number of issues” related to the possible move.

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Article courtesy of: Cleveland.com