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July 12, 2011
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

University introduces new water fountains

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. ­– It’s an unnecessary aggravation. You walk to a campus drinking fountain to refill a water bottle only to have it spill over or not fully fill. That inconvenience has been eliminated at Slippery Rock University for those who fill up at one of the University’s three new water fountains equipped with bottle-filling dispensers.
      Drinkers simply press a bottle against the push pad sensor, like a refrigerator ice dispenser, for water. The new fountains also include digital counters to encourage reuse of plastic bottles. The idea is for users to see how many bottles are being kept out of landfills.
      “It sends the message that we are doing something positive for the environment,” said Scott Albert, director of facilities and planning.
      Workers recently installed the fountains on the second floor of Spotts World Culture Building, the first floor of Advanced Technology and Science Hall and the weight room at the Robert N. Aebersold Student Recreation Center.
       Incoming students will be given 16-ounce, refillable bottles during Weekend of Welcome, the University’s program for new students. PNC Bank is providing the bottles.
      “I see people walking around with refillable water bottles,” Albert said. “Those who are really interested in the environment will especially appreciate the fountains.”
       Albert said Chris Cole, University Union director, read about the new fountains and suggested them for SRU. He and Albert worked together to apply for a Green Fund grant.
      The fountains support the University’s commitment to sustainability and were funded with a $4,000 Green Fund grant, Albert said. The Green Fund allocates funds for “green” projects. Since its inception in 2008, $157,000 has been allocated for a variety of projects.
          The ARC was part of the original grant proposal for the fountains. The Green Fund Committee wanted a fountain in Advanced Technology and Science Hall because it houses environmental programs. The second floor of Spotts is a high student-traffic area, Albert said.
           “Reaching for 2025 and Beyond,” the University’s strategic plan, cites the judicious use of recourses, sustainable design, and respect for the environment as campus priorities.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.