Hitting The Book(store)

With an armful of books, Wheeling resident Trista Porter made quick work Monday searching for folders for the business classes she is taking this semester at West Virginia Northern Community College.

Porter, a Wheeling resident, was among the many students purchasing books and supplies at the school’s new Barnes & Noble bookstore and Student Union building during the first day of classes Monday.

”It’s really nice,” Porter said of the bookstore, once home to a Straub car dealership.

”It’s my first year. It’s a little overwhelming,” she added, noting her first classes went well.

The Student Union building is situated across the street from another building at Market and 16th streets that also once housed Straub’s.

That building now is home to the WVNCC’s Applied Technology Center.

With the main B&O Building on one corner and the renovated Straub buildings occupying two others, this section of downtown was bustling with activity.

Students donning backpacks dominated the area, giving life to what the school has dubbed its College Square concept.

Ida Williams, WVNCC student activities coordinator, was working the Student Union, situated on the second floor above the bookstore/Starbucks coffee shop on Monday. She said a few students used the area on the first day, but she anticipated activity would pick up as more students discovered the new room.

The area includes softer seating for lounging and tables and chairs, along with a foosball table. A TV also will be installed along with a combination pool table-air hockey-ping pong station. The Student Union is meant to provide students a place to relax or study between classes.

”I think it has a nice ambiance up here,” Williams said, pointing to the view from its many windows.

She noted a variety of activities are planned including a pizza party at 11:30 a.m. Monday at the Student Union, and in honor of the school’s mascot, the Thundering Chickens, a chicken barbecue at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in the school gym.