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St. Mark’s Bookshop May Hear from Cooper Union Today (Updated)

Screen shot 2011-09-23 at 9.45.52 AMJamie Larson

Yesterday, St. Mark’s Bookshop co-owner Bob Contant told The Local that he hoped to hear from Cooper Union today about his request for a $5,000 per month rent reduction, but knew nothing for sure: “They could table the whole thing.”

The Board of Directors has been holding regular committee meetings all week. Earlier in the week, Director of Public Affairs Claire McCarthy said the issue would likely be discussed at a meeting of the entire board on Wednesday; beyond that, she said, there was no new information.

She added that school officials are well aware of the Bookshop’s support but there is no timeline on a decision.

Meanwhile, Mr.Contant said, “All of this publicity has really helped us.” The number of signatures on the petition (now over 35,900) spiked over the weekend following a New York Times story.

Until a decision is made, the pressure remains on Cooper Union.

“Trying to look at it objectively,” Mr. Contant said, “the longer it goes on, the worse they look.”

Update | 8:07 p.m. It now appears that the story will not see it’s conclusion until the end of next month. Mr. Contant said that Cooper Union Vice President T.C. Wescott told him earlier today that the store’s request was being sent to the board’s Finance and Business Affairs Committee, and their report on the rent dispute is expected to be completed in late October. “Nobody wants to be pressured into making a decision,” Mr. Contant told The Local.

Petition for Bookshop Gains Steam

The movement to convince Cooper Union administrators to lower the St. Mark’s Bookshop’s rent has become so popular that a petition for the store already has over 15,000 signatures. “St. Mark’s bookshop is vital! Please don’t let greed get the better of you!!” one of the signers of the petition wrote. The owners of the financially fragile bookshop have a meeting with Cooper Union officials on Wednesday.