New outdoor plaza and fountain will honor Capt. Ross Reynolds ’17

October 13, 2023
By: Deborah Alvarez O'Neil

Construction has begun on a large new plaza featuring a fountain and memorial on the outer perimeter of campus in front of the Sullivan Academic Center.

Slated for completion in the spring, the space will be dedicated to Capt. Ross Reynolds ’17, a Worcester State graduate and U.S. Marine pilot who was one of four Marines killed in 2022 when their Osprey aircraft went down in the Arctic Circle in Norway. Every detail of the new 2,000-square-foot plaza has been carefully planned to create a welcoming space that honors Capt. Reynolds’s life.

Artist’s rendering of the new kettle fountain being installed in the plaza in front of the Sullivan Building.

Key features will be a new two-tiered, cast-iron kettle fountain with recirculating water surrounded by an expanded patio. “The design of this fountain is meditative and serene,” said Sandra Olson, assistant vice president for Facilities Operations and Planning, who is leading the project. “We wanted to retain the water feature that has been so important to the campus for decades and make it a place for reflection. We also wanted to expand its use to our campus community, all while honoring the memory of Capt. Reynolds.”

The new fountain replaces an old one that had stood in front of Sullivan for more than 20 years and had developed cracks in the lining, had plumbing issues, and was not accessible for someone using a wheelchair or similar mobility device. The new fountain feature is being paid for via the state’s Critical Repair program.

The plaza will be framed by two stone wing walls with a center walkway connecting to the Sullivan Academic Center. New plantings, pavers, outdoor cafe-style seating, two 30-foot flagpoles, and walkways will complete the space. The landscaping and hardscaping for the area is part of the ongoing Campus Edge plan to revitalize the Chandler Street perimeter of campus into usable green space.

The university is planning a dedication ceremony in May 2024.



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