MANKATO — Feelings seem to be mixed at Minnesota State University regarding the aesthetic value of the mall’s iconic fountain.
Ben Johnson best summed up one side of the informal poll: “It’s kind of ugly.”
Alex Miller represented the other side: “Campus wouldn’t be the same without it.”
MSU will be making both parties a little happier at the close of spring semester when work begins on replacing the iconic fountain, which has significant infrastructure problems that are causing “an enormous amount of water to leak (to) the surrounding ground and saturating it,” according to a news release from MSU.
The project includes replacing the concrete deck and failing mechanical and electrical systems, but preserves and restores its appearance to the original design as the 1964 “World’s Fair Fountain of Progress.”
Following the May 13 to Aug. 9 project, the restored fountain will have a reflecting pool surrounded by a low retaining wall, working lights and automated spray control.
“Cool,” Johnson said succinctly and approvingly.
The fountain project is just one of many improvements being made on campus this summer.
With any luck, by the time the snow flies in the fall, MSU students studying hard in the library won’t even have to put their coats on when they want to head over to Centennial Student Union for some grub.
The “Library to CSU Underground Pedestrian Link,” to be completed May 13 through Oct. 15, is heavily supported by students, said Laurie Woodward, director of the student union.
“Our students sure think it’s a good idea,” Woodward said. “They’re excited about the connection between the student union and library, (going) back and forth when it’s cold out.”
Students are also excited about the addition of the amphitheater, she said. The walkway is going to be enclosed and underground on one side, but the side facing the parking lot will be dug out and be a daylight walkway. There will be a grass ramp built up along that side creating an outdoor amphitheater where bands, speakers and other entertainers will perform.
Here’s a look at the other projects and timelines:
- Renovation of Wiecking Center Construction Management room 349 renovation — new carpeting, paint, ceiling and entry system; timeline to be determined.
- Renovation of accessibility ramp in front of the stage of the Performing Arts Recital Hall, as well as new floor covering and other aesthetic improvements; timeline to be determined.
- A new Memorial Library first-floor circulation desk and aesthetic upgrades to the area; the front entrance to the library will be closed during construction and will reopen by fall semester; construction May 27-Aug. 9
- A new simulation lab for the nursing program on the third floor of Wissink; construction now through June 19
- Remodeling of the Morris Hall Dental Simulation Lab; construction May 22-Aug. 25
- Classroom remodeling in Trafton North N174D; construction May 20-Aug. 9.
- Renovation of classroom space in the basement of Armstrong Hall, which includes the relocation of the geography department to the second floor of Morris; existing spaces will be remodeled to include two new classrooms, new student lounge space and new seminar space; construction May 13-Aug. 9
- Trafton office ventilator replacement; May 15-July 26
- HVAC replacement in parts of the Student Union; May 13-Aug. 9
- Aesthetic, HVAC and technology upgrades to areas of Morris Hall; May 13-Aug. 25
- Terrazzo replacement in the Hall of Champions in the Taylor Center in areas causing tripping hazards; May 13-June 4
- Myers Fieldhouse roof repair; May 13-30
- Tennis court resurfacing; May 13-June 21