Fountain Makeover Creates Splash

Posted: August 26, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryan Call and Colleen Kearney Rich

A few spare parts and a little initiative can make the ordinary extraordinary. This summer, the Mason Pond fountain received an aesthetic upgrade when Mason plumber Ricky McCray decided to make a few creative adjustments to the fountain’s spray nozzle.

Using spare parts that he had gathered from around the plumbing shop, McCray succeeded in designing an elegant spray pattern on the pond’s surface—at no extra cost to the university.

Mason Pond Fountain
The fountain before it got its makeover.

When the fountain was installed last December as part of the Physical Plant’s ongoing mission to beautify the campus, there was little fanfare. This particular fountain model, which cost approximately $2,200, was chosen by Physical Plant Director Larry Spaine because of its name: “Patriot.” It was designed to shoot a solid stream of water into the air.

McCray approached Spaine with his idea to enhance the water spray. “He wanted to know if it would be okay to work on it,” says Spaine. After receiving the go-ahead from his supervisor, McCray went to work, and everyone was pleasantly surprised with the results. McCray’s handiwork has received many favorable comments from the university community, especially those with offices overlooking the pond.

“I do enjoy seeing the fountain and the geese swimming on the water—it’s a very tranquil setting,” says Aldona Gozikowski, executive assistant to the provost, whose office looks out onto the pond.

Fountain spray
A little ingenuity and a few spare parts gave the Mason Pond fountain some extra pizzazz.
Creative Services Photos

Another enhancement has been the duck that bobs under the spray. Contrary to the numerous rumors flying about as to how it got in the middle of the pond and what it’s doing there, the duck decoy does have a purpose. The Physical Plant installed it to suspend the fountain’s intake hose above the pond’s bottom in the hopes of keeping sediment from clogging the water pump and other mechanisms.

As for additional upgrades, Gozikowski has a suggestion for McCray: “They could put green and gold spotlights on the fountain so in the evening we could see Mason’s colors.”

Spaine hasn’t ruled out the possibility for future lighting, but he says no additional upgrades are planned at this time.

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