(Amanda Wheeler)

By Kaylie Cornett

After nearly two years of preparation, one of the nation’s most popular coffee empires will finally make its mark on Eastern’s campus. Starbucks Coffee, which already has one location near I-75 at exit 87, plans on opening its second Richmond location in EKU’s Weaver building around spring break.The coffee shop will be located next to the Burke Wellness Center, located in the Weaver building, and will face Park Drive and the Student Services Building.

Construction is scheduled to begin within the next couple of months. Administrators from Starbucks have visited campus and have approved the future site. Currently, the project is in the design and drawing phase, and once drawings have been approved, construction will begin.

So how do Eastern students feel about the new addition, even with the current options for morning caffeine fixes remaining?

Katie LaVictoire, a sophomore homeland security major, said that she would pick Starbucks over current Eastern coffee shop Java City.

Jeffrey Ricketts, a freshman mathematics major, admitted he might give the new store a shot.

“I’m not that big of a fan of coffee, but I enjoy my occasional vanilla bean frappuccino,” he said.

Barry Poynter, Eastern’s associate vice president for financial affairs, believes that the coffee shops can coexist peacefully.

“I don’t believe that it will have a significant effect on Java City,” Poynter said.

“Our campus already enjoys Einstein Bros. and Java City coffees, along with coffee served in the Fresh Food Company.”

Poynter said the central location would be convenient for those with hectic schedules, improve the appearance of the backside of the Weaver building, and utilize existing space.

A new coffee shop would also create more jobs on campus.

Poynter said job opportunities would probably be advertised two or three months before the grand opening.

The opening of Starbucks on campus is not a new idea. The idea for building a Starbucks was first proposed about two years ago by a committee under former EKU President Joanne Glasser, Poynter said.

“There have been some delays with the project, but hopefully all is now on track. We appreciate everyone’s patience.