Fountain construction to continue as fall semester begins

Behind the Student Union Building, the current fountain and plaza area will be replaced and renamed to the Sandra K. Giachino Reavey Sesquicentennial Plaza. 

Mike Garzanelli, Truman State University comptroller, said the fountain will have jets flush with the surface and students can expect a more modern fountain.  

“It’s going to be easier for our maintenance crews to … remove snow there as a result,”  Garzanelli said, “Right now it’s a step down from the library, meaning it’s going to be more of a level type of situation. [It’ll be] easier for students to walk, less chances of slips and falls.” 

The projected cost for the renovation is $1,575,000, the majority of the project will be paid for by foundation funds from the estate of Sandra K. Giachino Reavey, Garzanelli said.

 Reavey was a real friend of the University, Garzanelli said, and she left a significant estate to be able to help pay for this project.  

“Right now we are just a little bit behind on time because we had all the rain at the first part of the construction process,” Garzanelli said. “The contractor has been making up that time pretty well here recently and we are hoping that we will still hit our [goal]. Our plan is to have everything completed before homecoming.”

Garzanelli said minor construction will still occur as the semester starts. 

The fountain will be in place but there will be some areas that will need some landscaping, Garzanelli said.

“I think the students will be very very happy and impressed by it,”  Garzanelli said. “I think it is gonna be a great place for students to be outside the SUB. It will be a real centerpiece for the University.” 

The University also launched a brick campaign, where alumni and parents could buy a brick for the renovated plaza area and personalize it. A 4×8 brick with three lines of text was $150 and an 8×8 brick with six lines of text was $500. 

Annual Fund Officer Dylan Phillips said they sold over 1,000 bricks in total. 

“The brick campaign coincided with a couple of things,” Phillips said. “The first being the University’s 150th-anniversary last year … it was also a really nice jumping-off point to finish the renovations to the mall.” 

Phillips said they didn’t have a set goal on how many bricks they wanted to sell. 

The great thing about brick campaigns, Phillips said, is giving people the opportunity to have a little bit more of a lasting impact on campus, especially for people who don’t want to name a building or do anything big. 

“When we started the campaign we didn’t know [the Sandra K. Giachino Reavey estate] was coming,” Phillips said. “We went into it thinking we would really have to work the brick campaign along with naming rights for the garden plots, benches, possibly the fountain itself. Once that estate came through it really helped bolster it and we could definitely do everything we want to do with the renovation.” 

Phillips said the brick campaign was very successful. He said this campaign brought a lot of people who normally hadn’t given or hadn’t given in a long time an opportunity to give back in a personal way.

Phillips also oversees Tel-Alumni, the University’s telethon program which hires students to call alumni asking for donations. 

“Our office did a bunch of work, but at the same time … a lot of the bricks that people are going to see came from our students [and] our workers, reaching out to alumni over the phone and telling them about this project,”  Phillips said. “It was really a campus-wide project.”