There’s a new place to get your late night caffeine fix on campus…and you can get art supplies there, too.
Just in time for finals, Figure Grounds, a play on architectural and coffee terminology, had its grand opening Wednesday on the 3rd floor of the environmental design building at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
The new shop, a student-run business founded by the Environmental Design Student Government (ENVDSG), will sell coffee and tea drinks along with essential model-building supplies that are vital for environmental design students.
Bill Shrum, a junior, said that most students have classes throughout the day and can’t work on projects during normal business hours, so running out of supplies the night before an assignment is due can become a nightmare.
“When you’re trying to build stuff you absolutely need to have that material right then and there,” Shrum said. “Not having it means you’re pretty much wasting the rest of your evening.”
That was the case for Jacqueline Painter, president of the ENVDSG, who spearheaded the business.
Last year, while working on a model for class, she made the wrong cut on her last piece of chipboard. It was 3 a.m. She was forced to spend a sleepless night waiting for stores to open in the morning.
“It was the most frustrating thing,” Painter said. (Figure Grounds will only be open until midnight, but design students say that’s still helpful.)
However, personal experience was only part of her motivation to install the coffee/supply shop.
When the ENVDSG received $20,000 (from cuts to the student printing budget) in December, the first thought was to purchase new desks, but Painter thought it best to ask the students how they would spend the money.
Painter created small surveys that looked like $20,000 bills, spread them around the environmental design building and the results showed a demand for a late-night, on-campus supply store as well a place to get snacks.
She hoped to accommodate both needs. The entire ENVDSG got involved; they wrote a business plan and won approval from administrators. “I guess they were impressed or something because they were like ‘Great! If you can do it, do it,'” Painter said.
Over the past 5 months, after clearing out a small storage room, finding suppliers and refurbishing materials to create furniture — the counter was made from used shipping crates — the group was ready to open.
The shop will sell just a few essential model supplies for now and will expand the merchandise once they see what students need most. By summer, a water line will be installed so they can begin selling espresso drinks.
The goal was to just get something open that could provide late-night supplies and coffee to students working on finals, Painter said.
“Our final review is a week from Monday,” said Nathan Pope, a junior environmental design major. “As that comes up there’s just more and more stuff that takes a lot of time to do. That usually requires us being here late into the night, and so it will be nice to have that open now.”