Upper Arlington High School Bookstore

The leaders of Upper Arlington City Schools wanted to remodel the preexisting UA High School student store, Bear Essentials: a hub for students to buy school supplies, spirit wear and Upper Arlington memorabilia. A new, inviting entry feature was designed off the main corridor, with a clear vantage point of the main entrance to the school.

The renovation maximized the limited available space, adding smart, organized storage, a snug display, and an easily accessible tabletop to operate the store finances. A security feature is a one-way window perforation, decorated with the school logo, that allows staff to monitor the store when in the rear storage area.

Bear Essential store sales nearly doubled in the first year after the renovation!


The school store interior was designed by Legat Kingscott’s, Sylvia Kowalk. The school colors of yellow and black reinvigorated the space, created a striking fan area, and added much needed storage to the Bear Essentials store. The project ultimately transformed a dated and disorganized bookstore into a contemporary retail environment, similar to student bookstores on college campuses.

Design highlights:

  • new glass entryway
  • integration of the school color scheme
  • one-way security window
  • contemporary lighting fixtures
  • exposed ceilings


See other work for Upper Arlington Schools here.


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