That familiar safety fencing is back up, surveyors have staked out marking points and heavy equipment once again is tearing up sod. After three years of construction on the University of St. Thomas campus … and everyone looking forward to a peaceful summer on our newly expanded quad … construction workers have returned.

But not for long. By the end of July, the lower quadrangle will be home to a new fountain. It will be the first time a body of water will grace that part of St. Thomas  since Lake Mennith was drained more than a century ago.

“Contrary to rumors,” said Mark Vangsgard, vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer, “this will not be an off-leash dog park, an extension of the underground parking in the student center or a new building.”

The fountain will be located between the Anderson Student Center and the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex.

The lower quadrange fountain on the St. Paul campus will be similar to this fountain in front of the School of Law on the Minneapolis campus.

Jim Brummer, St. Thomas’ construction manager, said the fountain will be similar to the one located in front of the School of Law on the university’s downtown Minneapolis campus. The circular fountain will be 28 feet in diameter and surrounded by landscaping and benches.

“There are a couple of trees that we will need to move and overall the disruption should be minimal,” Brummer said.

“We are very grateful to Pentair Inc. and a number of individual donors who are making this wonderful new feature of the St. Paul campus possible,” said Steve Hoeppner, executive director of development. “It will add a beautiful and creative touch to the newly renovated lower quad.”

The new fountain will be visible from multiple vantage points, including all the floors in the student center and the athletic and recreation complex, the stadium and Summit Avenue.