Stony Brook, NY General contractor Stalco Construction, architect Ikon.5 Architects, and construction manager Jacobs have completed a 2,842 s/f Starbucks coffee shop located on the campus of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. The coffee shop, which serves both students and faculty, is on the ground floor of the six-story Frank Melville, Jr. Memorial Library, the university’s main library. Located within the campus’ Academic Mall, the 70-seat coffee shop has its own entrance from the mall as well as internal connections to the adjacent Barnes & Noble bookstore and a staircase leading to the library’s upper floors.
“The new, $1.4 million Starbucks is Stalco’s third completed construction project at the SUNY Stony Brook campus, following the computing center renovation and a new MRI suite,” said Stalco president Alan Nahmias.
Stalco demolished the existing storage facility to make way for the Starbucks. The team then built a completely new coffee shop, including a 2,166 s/f service and lounge section, a 226 s/f kitchen, and 450 s/f of remote storage area, as well as upgraded a nearby loading dock. The coffee shop features all-new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (M/E/P) systems, a new storefront-type windows and entrance from the mall, and a new internal connection to the bookstore.
As part of the project, Stalco also built an additional dining and study area for 26 patrons, with tables, chairs, and perimeter banquette seating inside the section of the Barnes & Noble that is adjacent to the main Starbucks lounge room. This included the installation of 20 ft. of new display shelving for the bookstore.
Lakhani & Jordan Engineers, P.C. was the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (M/E/P) engineer for the new coffee shop.
Stalco’s project manager, Erik Rappel, said, “The project wasn’t just a straightforward interior fit-out. Among other things, it involved creating trenches by cutting the concrete floor slab to install new utilities and plumbing connections inside embedded troughs.”
In addition, the team cut an eight-foot-wide by ten-foot-high opening in a demising wall between the coffee shop and the bookstore and installed a roll-up garage-type gate. This opening connects the coffee shop with the bookstore. “We installed wood paneling both inside the coffee shop and on the internal wall of the bookshop to create visual continuity of the space,” continued Rappel.
The coffee shop has a dedicated lounge and a seating area with armchairs, small tables, and community tables that seat up to 12 guests. The 16’ arm of an L-shaped serving counter is used as a cash wrap and serving area, while the shorter, 12’ arm provides counter seating for customers. Millwork wall shelving serves as a merchandise display fixture. Other finishes include subway-type ceramic tiles on the other walls, and ceramic-tile floors throughout. Stalco also added acoustical drop ceilings and several types of lights including pendants, high-hats, and area lights.
According to Jason Vasquez, Stalco’s project manager, one of the logistical challenges was the tight schedule of only 13 weeks including demolition. “Despite some design changes, we were able to deliver the project in under 12 weeks. We did this by increasing the manpower on the project and by the selective use of overtime work,” Vasquez noted. The main technical challenge proved to be the septic system. The existing connection to it was much farther than the team had originally expected. “We had to create a much longer connection in the initial part of the project,” said Vasquez.
Joseph Fitzpatrick, Stalco’s superintendent, discussed another challenge of the project: the busy college site. “The building was occupied at all times, so site safety was of the utmost importance. Safety solutions included temporary phasing and shutting down the stairwell connecting into the space,” he stated.
The main storage area for the new shop is separated from the café by a hallway. Stalco both installed a dedicated HVAC system and tapped into the building’s system to ensure that the storage area is properly air-conditioned. The café features a dedicated HVAC system located in an adjacent mechanical room.
Starbucks and its suppliers provided all the kitchen equipment, furniture, and millwork. The kitchen equipment included refrigerators; refrigerator display units (for juices and other drinks); coffee grinders, blenders, and other barista equipment; and dishwashing-related apparatus.