Pond, Amphitheater at UNCP
By Andrea Vukcevic
UNCP's new water feature has got you pondering, you're not alone.
Now that the centerpiece
of this fall's million-dollar campus beautification project is nearing
completion, the campus is eagerly anticipating its possibilities.
to be attractive," said sophomore Tom Mann. "The campus is
going to look very nice."
Mann plans to take
advantage of the water feature on warm days. "If I've got some
reading to do, that's probably where I'll go to do it," he said.
Located in front
of the Sampson-Livermore Library, the water feature boasts a bridge
and a fountain. University Engineer Bess Tyner is familiar with the
technical aspects of the $515,000 project.
There will also
be an amphitheater with turf-covered seating for approximately 100 people,
according to Tyner. The pond is about an acre in area, three-feet deep
and will be lined with plastic. A nearby well will supply fresh water
to it, and it will hold water to be used for irrigating the south side
feature is for aesthetics mostly, but it will also help out with irrigation,"
A steel bridge is
already in place over the pond and will oxidize to give it a natural,
out with the environment," said Tyner. "We won't have to use
paint and then repaint it every few years."
Tyner recently spotted
an identical bridge in Charlotte. "It was beautiful," she
said. UNCP will have to wait about six months to see the final effects
of its bridge's natural oxidation process.
Junior Janice Dalton
questions the necessity of a water feature, but she knows it will enhance
the campus. "I'll bathe myself in it," she joked.
Most students are
aware of the possibilities for abuse of the water feature. Among the
ideas circulating on campus are:
- giant bubble
- model boat raceway,
- snake and/or
- swimming pool,
- watering hole
for birds migrating south and
- wet t-shirt contest
Verhaeghe and Andy Smith both approach the pond with skepticism.
"I like the
pond better than the new signs," said Verhaeghe, referring to another
facet of UNCP's beautification project. The former wooden signs outside
campus buildings have been replaced with larger, black-and-gold aluminum
"I think a
tradition could get started at the pond," he said. "Like water-polo
Smith said he would
check out the water feature when it is completed, but foresees the possibility
of student pranks.
bring inflatable rafts to the pond and lay out there," he said.
He has also heard
of students at other schools dying their pond water different colors
or dumping enormous amounts of Jell-o powder in it.
Director Don Gersh described how students at his alma mater of Penn
State-Altoona, enjoyed their water feature. During freshman orientation,
freshmen and sophomores would string a rope over the pond and play tug-of-war.
"I would think that could happen here," he said. "It
would be a great tradition."
of the traditions at Penn State-Altoona, Chancellor Allen Meadors is
excited that UNCP will join the 95 percent of American college campuses
that have a water feature. "It will be a very nice addition, and
something we will all appreciate," he said.
is aware that he might see bubbles overflowing from the new pond.
"I'm sure that
from time to time, there will have to be some education," he suggested.
"But it's close to the police station..."
Freshman Sarah Franken
swimming in it on Thursday nights," she said.
All joking aside,
university officials have other plans for the pond.
Director of Student
Activites Abdul Ghaffar confirmed speculation that the water feature
will serve as an outdoor stage for future comedians, speakers and bands
as early as next semester.
be open 'mic' night too," he said. "It would also be a beautiful
backdrop for Parent's Weekend and Pembroke Day."
Chair of the Music
Department Dr. George Walter said there have been discussions about
the possibility of bands performing at the new water feature. "I'll
bring it up at our next department meeting to discuss the feasibility,"
The feature was
filled with water on Nov. 30, and will be dedicated during Homecoming
on Feb. 16.
With the onset of
winter, it wouldn't be surprising to see students flocking to the pond
and lacing up their ice skates...
is a junior and a journalism major at UNCP.
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