The Division of Recreational Sports hopes ordering packages from Amazon will now be faster and more secure for students and faculty, thanks to the new Amazon at UTexas location in Gregory Gymnasium.
Working with representatives from Amazon, faculty of Recreational Sports began constructing Amazon at UTexas in 2014 and finished early this summer. Amazon at UTexas provides students with a centralized location to pick up and return packages.
While the grand opening was Monday, Amazon at UTexas had its soft opening May 24 and was open over the summer.
“It’s been the summer, so there wasn’t quite as much traffic as we anticipated,” said Ash Brown, the site manager for Amazon at UTexas. “In the last four days alone, we’ve quadrupled our received orders.”
The idea for Amazon Campus was first born out of a need for convenience for students and was brought to UT to meet that same demand, said Tony Caravano, senior manager for University relations for Amazon.
“Having a centrally located location on campus allows for students to pick up things that they need for life on campus,” Caravano said. “We hope to provide students with all the amenities they need to be more successful in and out of the classroom.”
Jennifer Speer, director of communications assessment and development for Recreational Sports, said Gregory Gym was chosen for its centralized location within campus and heavy foot traffic.
“Gregory Gymnasium sees about 10,000 students per day,” Speer said. “We knew it was a very popular place, and a place that students knew already. It’s safe and secure, so students could easily come in, get their workout in and on their way out, pick up a package.”
For Amazon Prime members, free overnight shipping is offered to the location. Amazon also offers six months of Prime membership free to all students.
“Students are always talking about ways in which to make the University more convenient,” said Soncia Reagins-Lilly, interim vice president for Student Affairs and the Dean of Students. “[The way] students interact with their campus and interact with their technology, everything is fast and everything is convenient. So naturally, this opportunity was a wonderful, beautiful intersection.”
Reagins-Lilly, Speer and Tom Dison, senior associate vice president of Student Affairs and director of Recreational Sports, said they began working on the project in 2014 to provide students a safe location to receive their packages.
“I know [my packages are] going to go there and not get lost in the dorm mail or something,” freshman Becky Wang said.
Biology freshman Jazmin Urrutia said the location will be helpful when she needs an item in a hurry.
“I’m a pretty big procrastinator,” Urrutia said. “I haven’t even ordered my textbooks and classes are starting, so it’s awesome for me.”
The location is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.