Jason C. Consolacion
Ed De La Garza
Christian Schmidt Keenan
Big blue lagoon
One of the few symbols of the UH community has returned after a 10-month
absence: the Cullen Fountain.
The fountain, situated near the center of campus, serves as a place
for students to study, take a nap, catch some sun, go for a swim
(for the daring) or just escape from the stress of school.
The fountain was a casualty of Tropical Storm Allison and the flooding
that followed. When the campus (and most of Houston) found
itself submerged in Allison's wake, the computer system that ran the
fountain was destroyed.
But now, a mere 10 months later, the fountain is back in working condition.
Why it took so long to repair is a mystery — especially
since the original estimates guaranteed it would be on by December
— but the important thing is that it's on now.
The timing is perfect: UH's 75th anniversary celebrations will be April
10, and having an ugly dry hole in the ground during the
festivities would make the University look bad. (Oh, wait, there's
still that pesky University Center Satellite ...)
Unfortunately, the fountain has been painted a bright robin's-egg blue,
which makes it look more a swimming pool at some cheesy
resort hotel that's trying to look tropical than a fountain in the
middle of a college campus. It might be hard for students to resist
jumping in, especially as the weather becomes insufferable.
Its new hue is better, however, than the nasty hadn't-been-cleaned-in-three-decades-gray
it used to be. If this color makes the
University more likely to keep the fountain clean, great.
No matter what color the fountain is, the UH community should just be
glad it's running again. It's one of the nicer things about this
campus; it's a beautiful, peaceful place to spend time, and now that
it's in working order and the weather isn't too bad to be outside,
it should be taken advantage of.
Now if only someone could get the Satellite rebuilt, the campus would
be in great shape. Who knows when that mess is going to be
ready — or if it ever will be. Supposedly, UH is working with the Federal
Emergency Management Agency to rebuild it, but
construction seems to have halted months ago.
But with the fountain up and running again, one of the most visible
icons of campus has been restored. So tomorrow morning, pack
your lunch, bring some sun block and a good book and camp out on the
grass by the fountain between your classes.