Defunct fountain torn out

By By Michael McFall

By Michael McFall

The fountain between the Union and the Student Services Building that hasn’t worked for 22 years is finally being removed.

A smooth concrete fill-in will replace the defunct fountain, which was donated by the Tanner Foundation in 1986. After three years, the fountain’s pipes cracked, and it hasn’t worked since.

Cory Higgins, director of Plant Operations, expects the construction to be complete by Tuesday.

The Associated Students of the University of Utah plans to replace the fountain with a place for students to relax in a student gathering area, possibly equipped with a gazebo or a decorative shade structure, Higgins said. Different plans about what to do with the renovated area have been kicked around for several years, but so far none have been inexpensive enough for the allotted budget, he said.

Tearing up the fountain and the concrete fill-in cost around $10,000, Higgins said. Construction of a student gathering area is expected to cost $44,000.

In 2006, the senior class donated $14,000 toward a replacement for the fountain as their annual senior class gift. The money was pulled out of ASUU’s general reserve, a collection of student funds.

Two years passed without any sign of construction, so ASUU asked that its money be returned because it wasn’t being put to use, said Senior Class President Nicole Nguyen. It wasn’t long before Plant Operations dug up the concrete and began renovations, Nguyen said.

“I guess that got their fire going,” she said.

Although no one has made a fiscally viable decision on what to do with the empty space in front of the Student Services Building, Higgins said the fountain had to be removed with or without a replacement.

“It was something that had to be done, one way or another,” he said. “It was an eyesore,”

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Lennie Mahler

The fountain between the Union and Student Services Building is being eradicated.