Construction continues on Compass Plaza Fountain

By Callie Smith, Staff Writer

A number of Armstrong students are not sure of what to make of the in-ground structure between the Student Union Building and the Learning Commons.

“It was a fountain right? I don’t know what they’re about to do with it,” International Economics student Luke Cobb said.

Nursing student Julianne Watson speculated, “It used to be a fountain I think. Maybe they will make some plant structure with a waterfall or something.”

While many students remember the structure as a fountain at one time, a majority of the Armstrong community cannot seem to figure out what the maintenance staff is planning to build. Rest assured, a Compass Plaza fountain is set to return.

The original design of the fountain was completed as part of the Student Union Building’s construction back in 2010. The original fountain had large concrete walls with large, heavy granite covering the concrete. The structure included plumbing which brought water up and through the top of the wall to then flow down the granite face.

Maintenance has had issues with the fountain over the years, including those with wall plumbing and efflorescence on the granite. Efflorescence is the calcified, white substance that was visible on the walls and edges of the fountain.

Earlier this year, the fountain experienced difficulty with the plumbing. Katie Twining director of facility services said, “This failure caused some of the large granite pieces in the wall to blow off. Thankfully, no one was injured during this incident.”

After the failure, the best and safest choice was to dismantle the fountain. The maintenance crew then began the process of redesigning the fountain, as well as securing funding for a new one.

A more simple design was chosen in the move forward. This new design includes small spouts that will provide water movement and a lighting system that will allow the fountain to be lit at night. This new lighting system will also allow the university to change the colors of the lights to correspond with campus events and special occasions. The interior of the fountain will be a black ceramic tile, and the edges will be cast stone to match the pillars of the Student Union.

The design was chosen in hopes of avoiding any difficulties or failures like the ones that occurred in the original design of the fountain. Construction of the new fountain began Monday, Nov. 2, but maintenance has experienced weather delays.The fountain will reportedly be completed within the next few weeks, weather permitting.