Although the Eastburn Plaza outside of the Jackson Library is empty for now, administration is working to replace the fountain with something new.
“The [fountain had] really reached the end of its cycle,” Randy Dewing, associate manager of building systems and safety, said via email to The Sojourn. “Retiring it after the current season really [was] the right thing to do. … It’s progress.”
Facilities Services deconstructed the fountain Oct. 17, the first day of fall break. Many Indiana Wesleyan University students expressed their sadness via social media. Others posted it was a good decision to remove the fountain.
“I feel the fountain was a fun campus landmark,” Mandie Lenar (jr) said. “I think they should build another fountain or something else new.”
Facilities Services has not yet announced what will replace the fountain.
“We have some ideas, which must remain mysterious at this time,“ Dewing said. “The administration is hearing suggestions and thinking them over.”
Anyone is allowed to send suggestions to John Jones, vice president for Residential Education Operations. The ideas so far have ranged from a putting green for campus golf to a fire pit.
Jones expects a new and permanent structure to be in place by this upcoming summer, and in the meantime is planning to put something there, such as a planter box with a small tree or benches.
Don Rowley, director of Facilities and Operations, says they need to first work on cleaning up the area, such as removing the blue from the cement.
Facilities Services knew when it first put the fountain in that it would only last for about 12 to 15 years. Jones says it is “kind of like buying a car. … you don’t expect it to last forever.”
“We could have put something in that was solid stone or something that was [that] huge, but that comes at a cost, that is a very expensive thing to do,” Jones says. “It was kind of an experiment back then to some degree as a focal point on our campus. I think getting 10-15 years on something like that was pretty normal.”
Dewing thinks students and faculty should anticipate what will be next on Eastburn Plaza.
“Students should look forward to what great possibilities exist … and imagine what might be next,” Dewing said. “I believe the IWU community will be pleased with what we come up with to replace the current fountain.”
Check back with The Sojourn for more developments on this story.