Sitting within the UF Veterans Memorial, Liberty Pond has spent years collecting algae. Its initial decor has either been removed or has fallen into disrepair, including its fountain.
Student Government wants UF to fix it.
The pond, located behind the Reitz, was designed to honor UF’s veterans and originally donned a fountain and commemorative stones. The resolution demanding the university restore the fountain at Liberty Pond passed in Senate unanimously Tuesday evening. The resolution also seeks to put the commemorative stones back.
As of Tuesday, it is unclear how much the project will cost. However, the resolution states the Capital Improvement Trust Fund Committee approved $400,000 for the Reitz Union Renovation Project in 2019, specifically for the space surrounding Liberty Pond.
The CITF Committee also approved an additional $79,608 in 2020 and another $320,000 in 2021 to ensure the renovation project included a new fountain and an upgraded veterans memorial.
Although the money is there to complete the restoration, the project will still take some time to complete, co-author of the resolution and Student Body President Cooper Brown wrote in an email. It is unclear exactly when UF will begin construction.
“A resolution is an admirable first step, however, passing a resolution in the Student Senate does not mean that a fountain will suddenly appear overnight,” Brown wrote. “My team and I will keep advocating until we see significant progress on this project.”
Built in April 2009, the memorial originally consisted of flags, a fountain and five granite pillars for each branch of the military. In January 2021, Senate passed a resolution advocating for another granite pillar representing the Space Force, a recent addition to the Air Force, be added to the memorial.
UF currently has more than 2,000 veterans, active-duty members and dependents of those in the military enrolled, Brown wrote in an email.
Pro Tempore Noah Fineberg (Gator, District A) co-authored the bill with Brown and two others. Fineberg wrote in a text that the Student Body has a long and proud history of military service.
“It is essential that we recognize and honor their contributions by restoring the fountain at Liberty Pond,” Fineberg wrote. “This resolution demands the university do just that.”
Contact Allessandra at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @ainzinna.
Allessandra is a third-year journalism major with a minor in English. In the past, she has covered local musicians and the cannabis industry. She is now the Student Government reporter for The Alligator. Allessandra paints and plays guitar in her free time.