Crews are working to relocate the GATA fountain, a central point on campus since 1970, to a new home.
The new fountain will be about 40 yards north of its current location (south of Moody Coliseum). It will be the center of a plaza area for students to have a spot to congregate before Chapel or in between classes.
The fountain is designed to have a crescent shape with a flowing stream of water starting from the center and spilling to the sides.
What prompted the conversation was a mixture of the renovations to Moody and GATA members wanting a change with the fountain in general, Kevin Campbell, senior vice president of operations, said.
“Instead of having two things that were competing against each other, we pitched the idea to them: what if we made that feature the GATA fountain and moved it north a little closer to Moody?” Campbell said. “We showed them some renderings and they really thought it was a great idea.”
In place of the old fountain is a flower bed that will remain until further notice to pay homage to its previous presence.
GATA members have mixed emotions about the move of such a central part of campus and their club.
Kristin Emmert, a sophomore math major from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, said she will miss the placement and history of it.
“I liked it being in the middle of campus and a part of campus traditions and I feel it might take away from that,” Emmert said. “I see the benefits from it being in front of Moody.”
Julia Dobbs, a senior graphic design major from Allen, said she hopes the new design will hold beauty that reflects the sorority.
“Maybe make the flowers a bit more red, because our colors are red and white,” Dobbs said. “As long as they make it look nice and take care of it, I think it should be great. It is sad to see something old go, but also exciting to see new things for GATA.”
The GATA fountain went through renovations to the current design in the early 2000s. Campbell said its design was based on the trends during that time and the Olympics.
“In the 1996 Olympics, there were some fountains that were similar to what we have now,” Campbell said. “That became the trend but we’ve had struggles with the concept over the years with the Abilene wind.”
The original GATA fountain served somewhat as a wading pool for students. They would jump and emerge themselves in the fountain for fun. Campbell said that over time, the fountain “lost its character” and prompted a change in design.
Fountain construction is expected to be completed and in full operation by October 2022.