Bubbles potentially damage fountain

Bubbles erupted from the fountain in front of DeMoss twice in two weeks, and it seems to be an annual event for the pranksters on Liberty University’s campus.

Damaging — What may seem like a harmless prank can actually wreak havoc and create hours of work for members of the maintenance staff. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

For the most recent bout of bubbles, Liberty’s maintenance staff acted quickly to clean it up.

It takes two men four hours to completely clean the fountain of bubbles, Scott Starnes, director of building maintenance, said.

The duo has to completely flush the pipes, clean the fountain with specialty cleaner and replace the water. The bubbles have not damaged the fountain yet and Starnes attributes the lack of damage, at least in part, to the maintenance staff’s immediate response to the bubbles.

“As soon as we find that (there are bubbles in the fountain) we send a team out immediately to clean it up,” Starnes said.

Over time, damage to the fountain is a possibility, Starnes said.

Another prank that the maintenance staff has to focus a lot of time and energy on cleaning is graffiti on campus. The biggest problem with graffiti is that it spoils the image that Liberty tries to portray through its well-maintained campus.

Starnes has fond memories of the time when a dinosaur was put on the roof of the Reber-Thomas Dining Hall for a while a few years ago.

“Every so often we find a deer by the garbage bins wearing a Liberty hoody, sitting on a lawn chair,” Starnes said. “That’s pretty funny.”

Aside from the occasional foaming fountain or prehistoric animal on the roof of the Reber-Thomas Dining Hall, the maintenance staff does not spend a lot of time cleaning up after pranks.

“We don’t have too many problems,” Starnes said. “We have a great bunch of students on this campus.”

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