Renovation skips water fountains

Applied Arts Building drinking fountains outdated


Denis Perez / The Advocate

The automated water fountain systems, such as this one in the GE Building, need their filters changed regularly. If the water fountain has a red light under the filter status, it means the filter needs to be changed.

By Cindy Pantoja, Opinion Editor

The addition of environmental-friendly water fountains in the newly renovated Applied Building fell through the cracks during and after the planning of the buildings remodel earlier this year.
After the extensive renovation of the AA Building students and faculty were disappointed to see that after going through the inconvenience of inhabiting the building during such a thorough transformation, nobody thought about upgrading the old water fountains in the building.
Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said that during the planning and renovation of the building nobody specifically requested the installation of new eco-friendly water fountains.
“Only one of the two water fountains in the building was replaced with a newer model,” King said, “Either it was an oversight, or nobody thought it was important enough to do it.”
Earlier this semester after the remodel, students expressed their concern for the cloudy appearance of the water from the old water fountains in the AA Building. Further tests of the water showed that it is safe to drink.
“There were questions about the water being good, because it came out with a white color,” King said. “The water was tested in a laboratory twice­ — once for bacteria and again for harmful chemicals. The results showed that it is clean. The reason it was white was because the water pressure created air bubbles.”
Currently, only the General Education Building and the Student and Administration Building have the new water fountains that come with a filter, refillable water bottle feature and 50-degree water temperature.
The Sustainability Committee has made a proposal to replace the old water fountains for environmental-friendly fountains.
ASU Secretary Aman Butt said, “It is important to have the eco-friendly water fountains because it benefits the environment. Besides, students who want to refill their water bottle need to walk to the GE or SA building to fill them.”
The committee’s goal is to finance the three environmental-friendly water fountains this college year. The fountains would be distributed in the AA Building, the Student Services Center and the Library.
Director of Business Services Mariles Magalong said it is not possible to change all the water fountains on campus at the same time because it will cost about $5,000 to replace each fountain and there is no room in the current budget for such an expenditure.
“We need to identify the fountains (for replacement), but it is on our list of things to do. The college’s Foundation may approve the cost of one of the fountains.” Magalong said.
“Our fiscal year ends on June 30, 2019.”
She said the college hopes to eventually upgrade all campus drinking fountains.
King said that the Friends from the Library group will contribute money to help with the replacement of one of the environmental-friendly water fountains.
The Associated Students Union also plans to contribute funds.
ASU Treasurer Dagin Tessoma said, “Before the ASU can say how much we are willing to give toward the new water fountains we first want to know the amount that (others) are willing to put in. We will have to wait until (today’s meeting) to be able to discuss this in our meeting.”
The Sustainability Community will meet on Monday and plans to further discuss the issue.