Bethel Breaks Ground for Bookstore and Coffeehouse Expansion

Bethel College held a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of the Bethel Bookstore, which will also include the school’s coffeehouse, Sufficient Grounds. The event took place on Wednesday, May 16 on the south side of the bookstore’s current campus location.

“This came out of a desire to bring together the functions of the coffeehouse and bookstore,” says Ed Bernhard, Bethel’s director of auxiliary services. “It will serve as a gathering place for students and faculty. Its location will also make it more accessible and convenient for folks to patronize it after events in the Everest-Rohrer Chapel/Fine arts Center and athletic events in the Wiekamp Athletic Center.

On the bookstore side there will be expanded space to allow growth in areas such as consumer electronics and a convenience store. It will also include space for reading and study. The coffeehouse side will offer space similar to the current location on McKinley Avenue, but with the addition of some meeting space and a "stage" area to host "unplugged" acoustic events.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of donors whose desire is to enhance Bethel’s campus for the benefit of our students,” says Bethel College President Steven R. Cramer, Ph.D. “Without such friends of the college, a project of this nature at this time would not be possible.”

Construction for the $1.1 million facility is expected to be completed in November 2012.

Bethel College is an accredited Christian college offering associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 70 areas of study. The current enrollment of more than 2,100 includes students from 34 states and Puerto Rico, 19 countries, more than 25 denominations and 16 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. Scholarships are available based upon a variety of factors including academic achievement, talent in the arts or athletics, ethnicity and church affiliation. In addition to its beautifully wooded 75-acre main campus in Mishawaka, Ind., Bethel also offers specific academic programs at sites in Elkhart, Ind., Fort Wayne, Ind., Dowagiac, Mich., and St. Joseph, Mich. Nursing programs are also offered in cooperation with Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind.