Catawba’s Fountain: The Sequel
February 18, 2017
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On the Catawba College campus restoration is underway of the fountain in Stanback Plaza in front of the Student Center. Frannie Taylor is the head of the campus project department in charge of reviving the fountain. The fountain’s original pumps are going to be used to make it functional again. Taylor explains that “most liberal arts colleges have a fountain on campus. [Catawba] happens to have two.” The other fountain is in Oliver’s Way between Shuford Science buildling and the Center for the Environment building.
The fountain was functional until approximately four years ago. Taylor explains that the fountain was taken out of service due to disrespect and abuse that it received. “I am concerned that it could potentially revert back to that once we bring it into service.” Taylor is optimistic that this will not be an issue. She hopes that students will be respectful of property and the beauty it contributes to campus. When the fountain is restored, campus public safety will patrol and protect the fountain. Since the abuse, the fountain has no longer been used as a water feature. The structure was then filled with dirt. It became a small flower bed typically planted in time for spring graduation. When cleaning the fountain, there were 2,000 pounds of dirt that had to be removed. This dirt was then repurposed in four different locations on campus. These are areas where new plants were being planted, giving the greenery healthy soil.
This project has been made possible from a generous grant to the college. The fountain itself has no dedication or memorial purpose being that it was a preexisting structure. Taylor explains that “there is no specific organization bringing the fountain back into service.” She adds that the revival of the fountain is a part of the terrace project taking place behind the Hedrick Administration building. This area had originally been a coal pit that supplied fuel to heat to the building in the 1920s. Taylor explains that this area could not be changed much due to the possibility of collapsing the rear structure of the Administration building. This also meant that emergency vehicles, including the fire department and EMS, could not use the road behind the building. Taylor continues to explain that the terrace project will allow emergency vehicles to get closer to the Student Center without threatening the structure of the Administration building.
Taylor hopes that there can be a piece of artwork added to the fountain in the future. A fountain statue would add an artistic element. This would contribute to the aesthetic of campus. However, this is not being worked on now. Right now, the goal is to recommission the fountain and adding a statue to the fountain will be phase two.
The terrace and fountain project will be finished in the next two to three weeks. Taylor is hopeful that both projects will be finished at the same time. Construction is currently waiting for brick pavers, once these are received, the work can begin again. She says that both students and faculty will enjoy the revival of the fountain.