Home Life and Arts Broken fountain at LBJ Student Center may be revived

Broken fountain at LBJ Student Center may be revived

The fountain outside of the LBJ Student Center is practically never turned on.
The fountain outside of the LBJ Student Center is practically never turned on. Due to lack of maintenance, the metal has oxidized and turned green.
Photo by: Melissa Ueckert | Staff Photographer

For as long as most Bobcats can remember, the fountain outside of the LBJ Student Center has been broken. However, operations officials hope to get it up and running soon.

Many students pass by the fountain to grab lunch at The Lair or attend class in the teaching theater. Over 600 Twitter users confirmed it has been broken for their entire experience at Texas State.

In response to a tweet by Katy Petri, communication disorders senior, one Twitter user couldn’t even tell it was a fountain.

Dave Rader, building operations supervisor at the LBJSC, said members of the art department installed the fountain around seven years ago. But, San Marcos endured a drought that caused the city to enforce stage one water restrictions.

The city and university had to abide by the Drought Response Plan restrictions, which prohibited any waste of water. Filling decorative water features such as fountains and ponds was prohibited, according to the San Marcos Mercury.

Rader said he took out the pump during the drought period, and by the time it was over, the piece had sat idle for too long and became unusable. In addition, the operations crew discovered the pump wasn’t designed for the fountain at all.

The artists who installed the fountain bought a pump that was too long for the fixture, Rader said. However, he is on a mission to track down the correct pump for the fountain.

Rader said he aims to have the fountain running permanently by the end of March if the city doesn’t go into another drought period.

Kyla-Krista Ong, receptionist at the LBJ Student Center information desk, said it’s a shame the fountain has been broken for so long.

“Ever since I came here, it’s been off,” Ong said. “It’s also not as pretty to look at because it’s dirty inside.”

Ong said there is a definite contrast between the LBJ Student Center fountain and the massive one on Bobcat Trail. Nonetheless, she hopes Rader is able to get it back in gear.

“I hope we end up getting the pump soon, because I feel like it adds something special to the center when people see it,” Ong said.

Triston Giesie, public relations sophomore, said the bro ken fountain doesn’t serve a purpose.

“It’s not even doing its purpose of looking pretty—it’s tarnished and old,” Giesie said. “Whenever people walk by on campus, it’s pretty obvious that it’s not maintained. You would assume or hope they would take better care of it.”

Giesie said the Student Body President’s salary is over $11,000, which could go toward fixing one of the focal points of campus instead.

Colby Mims, sociology sophomore, said she would appreciate seeing the fountain in action if it were safe for the environment.

“If it recycled water, then I’d be all about it,” Mims said. “But I’d rather not run it if we’re at a risk for a drought.”

Shelbi Bays, marketing sophomore, said she saw the fountain running water around a year ago and wishes it could be permanently fixed.

“I’ve always thought it looked kind of dirty, and even the memorial around it is rusty,” Bays said. “I just wish they could renovate it into a sculpture or something if they’re not going to repaint or fix the fountain.”

Bays said fixing the fountain could increase the aesthetic value of campus, and possibly bring in more students when they tour the university with groups.