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Fountain finally finished

The new Cope Fountain features a splash pad, a change from the previous design.

After nearly three years of construction, Cope Fountain is making a splash on UNK’s campus.

It’s about time.

“My freshman year they said, “Oh yeah, it’ll be done,’ and it still wasn’t,” said Camryn Rasmussen, an elementary education sophomore. “That was one of the highlights of coming back, like we got to go check out the fountain. It’s finally done, and you don’t have to walk all the way around it to your classes.”

Rasmussen said she enjoys the fountain’s design, though it’s not what she expected.

Instead of the traditional bowl, Cope Fountain is open with a series of spouts encircling a tall metal fixture. Colored lights have also been installed within the rock formations and sprinklers.

While upperclassmen dealt with extended construction deadlines, first year students will never know campus without the “modern centerpiece.”

“It just shows that Kearney has the ability to offer improvements and be with the times,” said Kieren Feeney, a comprehensive psychobiology freshman. “The admissions counselors were there passing out the free lunches and people are using it for like, get togethers. It’s just a nice central point that can be used now like, ‘Oh, let’s go meet up at Cope Fountain.’”

However, the fountain’s completion has not stopped students from improvements.

“I’m glad it’s grass and not construction anymore,” said Nathan Urmacher, a criminal justice junior. “One thing that I would personally like to see is more trees planted around in the yard or around the fountain.”

The open space isn’t the only feature facing criticism.

The poster on the construction area’s chain link fence depicted the fountain’s height surpassing the top of the metal fixture.

For some students, the center spout’s water pressure has not met those expectations.

“There’s that silver cylinder in the middle, and it looks like the water the water just bubbles inside of it,” said Hollie Rose, an elementary education senior. “I’ve talked to some people, and we’re thinking maybe they just haven’t turned the water up all the way because I feel like they did that with the old fountain.”

The rock formations are also raising some questions.

Rose said her friends tested the dryness of each rock, and a total of three were safe from the splash zone.

Not many current Lopers remember the previous Cope fountain, but Sam Dennison, a 2020 graduate pursuing her masters at UNK, is able to compare the two designs.

“The old (fountain), if you sat there, your back would be to the water, but then now, you can sit wherever on the rocks,” she said. “It feels more interactive.”

When asked if she’d consider running through the sprinklers, her response was “100%.”

“I think that it’ll bring out like the kid side and everyone, which is very good since we’re in college and people are stressed, most of the time,” Dennison said.

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