Feb 06 2012

University's fountain dismantled for renovation

Shippensburg landmark donated by class of 1896

The Shippensburg University fountain, which is outside Old Main, was dismantled on Monday as part of a restoration project.

University officials are using $135,000 they set aside from the federal stimulus to pay for the work.

The fountain was a gift of the class of 1896 when the university was called Cumberland Valley State Normal School.

The graduates of that class each donated $100, which is the equivalent of half their tuition and room and board, for the fountain. Each graduate's donation would be about $2,300 in 2012 dollars.

Over the years, cracks and leaks were covered up with coats of paint, changing the cast iron fountain's original color and covering up the detailed work.

Crews with Robinson Iron of Alabama dismantled the fountain piece by piece. Each piece was assigned a number and will be taken to Alabama for restoration of the original paint and design.

The fountain was custom made by a New York company, which has gone out of business. Robinson Iron bought the original molds from that company.

The fountain is the most photographed part of campus -- the site of wedding photos, alumni gatherings and school pranks -- and will be back for the May 5 commencement. A rededication ceremony is planned for June.

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