• Construction begins on Fifth Street renovation — including new fountain on Fountain Mall

    Artist's rendition of new Fifth Street look

    Students finishing up their last few days of class this spring have encountered a temporary obstacle in the heart of campus — green construction fencing running along much of Fifth Street that some students have dubbed the “Bearlin Wall.”

    Inside the fence, work has begun on a long-awaited project: A complete remodel of Fifth Street, from the Bill Daniel Student Center to the circular drive in front of the McMullen-Connally Faculty Center. Included in the remodel? The return of a fountain to Fountain Mall. (Click the image above for a larger view.)

    The 46-foot by 61-foot fountain — made possible through an $8 million gift from Dr. Thomas Rosenbalm, BS ’50, MS ’51 — is the centerpiece of the Fifth Street renovation, which also includes an entirely new look for the long-closed roadway. Once construction is complete in mid-October — just in time for Homecoming — the area will be a more pedestrian-friendly plaza.

    Of course, Fifth Street will still be able to accommodate both emergency vehicles and the Homecoming parade. The new Fifth Street path will pass along the north side of the fountain, toward Fountain Mall.

    Sic em, Dr. Rosenbalm!