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February 27, 2015
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BY CLARE FORRISTER & MATTHEW JONES
The Greenleaf Coffee Co-Op, Guilford’s student run
coffee shop, closed at the end of fall semester for winter
It never reopened.
“It’s really unfortunate that we can’t have our space
now because of things completely out of our control,”
said sophomore and Greenleaf member Colin Nollet.
Members of the Greenleaf learned that the College
was not fully transparent about the renovation. Codes
dictating how the space should be set up were not
followed, procedures for approval did not occur, and
now the Greenleaf has to bear the consequences. The
question is, how did this happen?
“I think part of the reason the city found out about
the new space location is that we started advertising on
Yelp,” said Nollet.
Despite speculation amongst Greenleaf members, in
actuality the college itself went to the city about the
Greenleaf during M semester.
Other staff members guessed that the door leading
from the Greenleaf to the rest of Milner needed to swing
in the opposite direction, or that the windows in the
Greenleaf needed to be larger for ventilation purposes.
The necessary alterations were very different.
"It’s a fire safety thing,” said sophomore and
Greenleaf member Nellie Vinograd. “So, as it is right
now, it’s a dangerous place if there were to be a fire.”
It remains unclear how much of a danger the space
posed before the city inspected it for safety standards.
Although a fire department inspector did visit the new
Greenleaf space eventually, controversy continues over
the school’s earlier handling of permits and inspections
from the City of Greensboro.
Now, Greenleaf members and members of the
community are left wondering what really happened
and when they can finally reopen the shop.
An experiment in alternative business
Founded over 10 years ago, the Greenleaf differs
from your average college coffee shop.
“The Greenleaf is an experiment in an alternative
business model as part of our vision for a better world,”
says the Greenleafs mission statement. “We hold
ourselves to be a non-hierarchical, member-run coffee
C3rigmally housed in the space now occupied by
the Grill in downstairs Founders Hall, the Greenleajf
relocated once before to the basement of Mary Hobbs
HaU. Due to major renovations this year in Hobbs, it
now occupies the
basement space on
the north side of Milner
Hall, which until this summer
contained dorm rooms.
As a student organization, the
Greenleaf receives funds from the school
and enjoys the benefits of maintenance and
construction work provided by Guilford.
“When I saw the space for the first time, I knew the
school had done a good job,” said junior and Greenleaf
member Addy Allred. "I think this was unexpected.”
Codes; building the legal way
The City of Greensboro’s Engineering and Inspections
Department issues building permits for construction
work on buildings such as Milner. Before construction
starts, owners or contractors submit permit applications
to Engineering and Inspections describing the nature of
the work and cost. They also pay a building permit fee
based on the construction type and cost.
Depending on the work, the Planning Department
reviews the construction plans for compliance with
building codes. Then, an inspector will review the
construction in person. Finely, the city issues a
See greenleaf \ Page 2
Volume 101 | Issue 15
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