The University of Southern Mississippi’s Physical Plant finished renovations on the Shoemaker Square fountain on Oct. 11.
The Physical Plant was working on the fountain due to water leakage. The lights inside the fountain were taken out due to their lack of function. The Plant removed the ball and cleaned it, and they sealed the base to stop the leaking and prevent future leakage. In addition to sealing the base, they also repainted it a blue similar to the fountain in front of the Administration Building. The renovation was temporarily delayed and was barely completed in time for homecoming festivities. According to Michelle Shinall, assistant director of marketing and campus relations, the Plant had to wait seven days for the waterproof membrane to cure and that filling the fountain before the membrane cured would have resulted in a voided warranty. Also, students were unable, and will be unable from now on, to sit in chairs in the fountain during the traditional homecoming fountain sit because the Plant thinks that they may have contributed to the fountain leaking and would damage the new paint job on the base of the fountain.
Shinall said that the fountain’s drain, which is located about 20 feet from the fountain, has collapsed, and the Plant will start working on it after homecoming. The completion date for the drain repairs is to be determined, but its construction will not affect the running of the fountain.
The Plant repairs and renovates the fountain and other projects at USM as needed. Current projects include the Lucas Administration Building repairs estimated to be completed this fall, the Cochran Center Theatre project estimated to be completed next fall and Joseph Greene Hall renovations estimated to be completed this January. The Plant also plans to renovate Fritzsche-Gibbs Hall, Harkins Hall and Southern Hall in the future.
The Physical Plant is located on campus at 118 College Drive. For more information about the Physical Plant and its services, contact 601-266-4414 or fill out a contact form at www.usm.edu/physical-plant.