A new addition to Weber State University has recently been finished. Right outside of the pay lot near the Kimball Arts building is a new water feature. Most people assume that it is a waterfall, but looks can be deceiving. This new feature is not a waterfall at all, but something that is helping prevent floods on the Ogden campus..
“It is part of the Ogden City Storm Water Treatment System,” said Norm Tarbox, vice president of administrative services. Tarbox was part of the design team for the project. “The water comes from a natural spring in Beus pond and the storm water runoff from the community and from Weber State.” Though it may look like a waterfall, the new water feature is actually a spillway.
A spillway is a backup system to keep water from overflowing. In this case, it is meant to stop the Lindquist Pond water level from getting too high. But that is not the only reason for the new spillway.
“It was an ugly part of campus,” Tarbox said. “It was unkept.” Tarbox said he considers this area to be the ‘front porch’ of campus, being one of the first things people see when they enter the campus. They originally considered putting the spillway underground but decided to take the opportunity to make an above ground addition to the campus aesthetics. The original cost of the project was 200,000 dollars, but making it above ground into what looks like a waterfall, cost an extra 50,000 dollars.
“It’s nice,” said Kasey Van Dyke, a WSU student. “I’m wondering where the money came from. It’s always risky to build extraneous structures on a campus. No one is going to have class in the fountain.”
The money to build the spillway came out of the annual campus repair and improvement funds.
Van Dyke has seen the spillway a few times, but doesn’t think many people are going to pay attention to it.
“Probably ten people will notice it but people don’t typically ponder the fountains,” she said.
Van Dyke previously attended Utah State University and noticed that USU pays more attention to renovating buildings while WSU focuses more on landscape.
“Weber is aesthetically pleasing,” she said. “Utah State was renovating buildings that were built only five years ago.”
Van Dyke disapproves of the extra $50,000 dollars spent on appearances. “It’s like someone going in for a nose job to fix a problem and paying extra for it to look like a celebrity’s.”
Some students think that the money used for the spillway should have been used elsewhere. “It’s pretty, but they should spend the money on parking,” said Megan Gour, WSU student. “I park in the W parking wherever I can find a spot, if I’m lucky.”
Although some students wish the money was spent elsewhere, others like the water feature. “It’s nice that they have something over there other than just the pond,” said Kylinn Edwards, a WSU student, “the other side has everything, now it’s equaled out a little.” Although she likes the spillway, she would also like some of the economic money to go to fixing up the Social Sciences building.
Despite the cost, the new spillway will ultimately help prevent flooding around campus during times of high precipitation. It also makes the campus look better for students and visiting people.
“It looks cool,” said Alicia Rajigah, “it’s better than how it looked before.”