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The Antelope

New Cope Fountain completion draws near

Alana Kellen
The projected finish time for the Cope Fountain continues to be set for a later date.


Come graduation this year, the most-anticipated project on campus is set to be completed. As the project nears completion, faculty and students share their excitement.

For nearly three years, the Cope Fountain has been under construction. Many students and faculty alike have been looking forward to the completion of the campus monument. As the projected deadline nears, the excitement builds for many.

UNK Chancellor Douglas Kristenson expects the fountain to be a major landmark on campus.

“We would hope that it’s just one more reason why you go to UNK. We want it to be a point of pride on campus,” said Kristenson.

The most problematic part of the construction came with the sewer line. The way the previous fountain was built made it impossible to restore or replace without entirely changing the sewer system around it. The original Cope fountain had been refurbished with piping before but was ineffective compared to the expected final project of the new fixture. Some of the new features were also talked about.

Students can look forward to new LED installations along the outside of the fountain to light the fixture and the water in a myriad of colors. Another highly anticipated feature lies within the fountains themselves. With a variety of programmable patterns, students can watch their very own Bellagio show without the trip to vegas. Not only can students watch the fountain, but they can interact with it as well.

Another key feature with the new fountain lies with its programming. The fountain will be able to run all spring and summer, but during the winter, special steps are taken to prevent freezing and possible damage. The fountain can now be programmed to run during certain times of the day, shutting off at night or when the temperature drops below freezing.

Vice-chancellor for Business and Finance, Jon Watts, hopes the fountain is going to bring some pizzaz to the heart of campus.

“What we’re looking for here is the ‘Wow Factor,’ we’re looking for a hangout for the students where they can relax or play,” said Watts. 

Once the fountain is completed, there are several projects UNK administration has its sights on. Some of the main focuses after the fountain include lighting in the east entrance of campus, the STEM building, a university village, and a new walkway that connects past men’s hall. Vice-chancellor Watts even hinted at a new, beautiful sculpture coming to campus.

Vice-chancellor Watts also expressed his gratitude towards the students.

“We really appreciate the patience of the students that they’ve displayed over the heart of their campus being ripped up,” said Watts.

UNK administration expects the fountain to be one of the most striking parts of campus, drawing in people around the city to see it. Once completed, students are offered plenty of ways to be entertained—from playing in the fountain or sitting around it. Many are looking forward to graduation time to see the newest and most-anticipated installment on UNK’s campus.

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