By Stephanie Reyes, Staff Writer
The new Rosenbalm Fountain that was built on the heart of Fountain Mall will be dedicated at 4 p.m. today.
Lori Fogleman, assistant vice president for media communications, said having the new fountain on Fifth Street and Fountain Mall will bring more meaning and unity to the center of campus.
“[Fountain Mall and Fifth Street] is where the Baylor family gathers to celebrate our most cherished traditions such as Homecoming, Christmas on Fifth Street and Diadeloso,” Fogleman said. “To have this beautiful fountain brought back to the heart of campus and to have Fifth Street restored and rejuvenated brings us a great sense of pride and gratitude for Dr. [Thomas] Rosenbalm’s vision.”
Rosenbalm, Baylor alumnus and physician, created the opportunity for this project with his $8 million gift in memory of his father and mother.
Fogleman said the fountain will also be a place for many people to gather and celebrate Baylor’s various traditions.
“The new aesthetic and infrastructure improvements to Fifth Street and the addition of Rosenbalm Fountain bring new life to a place on campus that is central to many Baylor experiences,” Fogleman said.
JD Dethrow, Baylor Construction Services senior project manager said it was a great experience working on the construction of the fountain, which started in mid-April and was substantially completed and open to the public on Oct. 9.
“The landscape architect and the contractor both came together and worked with us on reducing the scope where we could in order to get the cause down into budget,” Dethrow said.
“They started construction on time, which was extremely important because it was a pretty aggressive schedule. We had to be finished in time for homecoming.”
Dethrow said since the construction stayed on schedule, workers were even able to go back and add features back to the project, such as additional planting. In addition, the fountain can hold approximately 17,450 gallons of water and has a storage basin that can hold 13,700 gallons. This allows the fountain to have a low water feature and allows for reuse of the same water over and over again. There is a bowl that is always full, 12 jets around the dome that can shoot up into the bowl and four jets in the bowl, that can shoot up and a center jet that can shoot up even higher.
“You can run all the jets or some of the jets. It’s got lighting elements,” Dethrow said. “You can run different light shows at night. We’re working on different lighting shows for Christmas, Fourth of July and after Baylor wins.”
Dethrow said the new fountain and all of Fifth Street has dramatically changed the whole landscape and dynamic in the heart of campus.
“It makes it a much more inviting place for students as they go up and down campus,” Dethrow said. “For the students, you got the fountain area where you can gather and enjoy the features of the fountain. When alumni come back to campus, it’s going to be a change for them and for visitors.”
Los Angeles, junior Rachel Moore said she enjoys the new fountain.
“I love it. I think it’s beautiful,” Moore said. “I think it brings a new life to the middle of campus, which is really nice.”
Moore also said that she has been watching it be made over the past several months and finally viewing it complete is a sight to see and quite an experience.
“It’s really nice to finally see it going,” Moore said. “When I saw it being built, I had this feeling I really want to be the first one in the fountain.”