Coffeehouse Construction Perking Along


ST. LOUIS — Soon there will be a place where a mixture of students, faculty, staff and community members gathers to enjoy the sweet aroma of cappuccinos, espressos, lattes and pastries. Coming in mid-March, Kaldi’s Coffeehouse will open adjacent to the University Library, offering a rich assortment of traditional espressos, coffee drinks and light desserts, such as sugar cookies and other bakery goods. Pat Apel, director of Maryville University’s physical plant, says there’s a lot of effort going into this construction project. “It might seem dusty and noisy now but it will soon be a warm and cozy sanctuary,” said Apel. Students will be able to relax and study in the lobby or congregate in the lounge area surrounded by a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, an iPod docking station, and cozy couches.

Kaldi’s decorating schemes will be incorporated into the coffeehouse along with Maryville’s colors. “At night, there will be a pull-down screen covering the double doors of the coffeehouse that will show both Maryville’s and Kaldi’s logos,” Apel said. Other upcoming changes include plans to erect a new art gallery behind Kaldi’s and to furnish the entrance of the library with up to 40 seats. Also, there will be outdoor seating in front of the fountain to enhance the outdoor coffee-drinking experience. “We want to make the area more communal,” said Apel. “We want it to become a place where students go to get things done and to develop their study habits.”

The coffeehouse is expected to draw in the business crowd as well. “The idea is to make the University Library more like a bookstore rather than a regular library,” said Apel. “So when the surrounding corporate community hears about this, maybe they will come by and pick up a cup of coffee before work. Construction is now in phase two, which consists of installing ceramic floors at the front end of Kaldi’s lobby, putting carpet in the sitting area, and completing plumbing and electrical work.”

The walls are up and painted, says Jerry Hughey, assistant director of physical plant. “The lighting is completed and half of the electric is done,” said Hughey. Construction for the coffeehouse is right on schedule, says Apel. “This is going to be a nice thing for the Maryville community,” he said. “Hopefully, it will become a place that students come back to even after they have graduated.”

Maryville University is a private institution offering approximately 50 undergraduate, seven master’s and two doctoral degree programs to 3,422 students. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges, Maryville University prepares its students for successful and meaningful careers. Among Maryville’s most recent graduates, 94 percent are employed or attending graduate school. Approximately 15,000 alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.