Schools install new water fountains

Gloversville High School Associate Principal Dennis Bye fills a donated water bottle at one of the school’s new “water stations” that dispense cold, filtered water. Local U.S. Army and U.S. Navy recruiting offices each donated 200 reusable water bottles for free distribution to high school students to encourage use of the new water fountains that include dispensers to refill water bottles. (Photo submitted)

GLOVERSVILLE — Students at Boulevard Elementary School and Gloversville middle and high schools will stay hydrated this school year following the installation of new water fountains in each building over the summer.

According to Gloversville Enlarged School District Superintendent David Halloran, work on the school district’s capital project has proceeded under budget by roughly $550,000. With work across the district winding down, the school district and the Board of Education selected several small scale projects to undertake with a portion of the remaining funds while retaining approximately $100,000 for any needed contingency costs.

Additional projects include the installation of a staircase at the district’s administrative entrance at the middle school, sodding of the baseball field at Park Terrace Elementary School, leveling of the playing field at Park Terrace where the school track formally stood, installation of a new fence around the Boulevard Elementary School playground, the addition of volleyball sleeves at schools across the district for possible tournament play and the installation of new water fountains at Boulevard and the middle and high school buildings.

Work on the majority of the added projects was completed over the summer with school officials optimistic about the impact that the new state of the art water fountains in particular will have on students.

“The hope is that students will drink more water to stay hydrated. This should improve cognition, performance and overall wellness,” Halloran said Monday.

Halloran said the new water fountains replaced older units that were inefficient or in disrepair and were installed at an estimated cost of $3,000 each. The new “water stations” feature two side-by-side units that provide cold, filtered water dispensed from traditional water fountains of two different heights.

Additionally, the shorter of the two water fountains includes a second dispenser at the rear of the unit designed to easily fill reusable water bottles and with a digital display that tracks how many bottles of water have been filled thus preventing the use and discarding of the equivalent number of single-use plastic bottles.

To ensure students are able to make full use of the new water stations, Gloversville High School Associate Principal Dennis Bye, a retired U.S. Navy master chief, reached out to the local military recruiting offices seeking donations of reusable bottles to be provided to high school students who did not have their own reusable bottles.

Bye’s request was answered with donations of 200 reusable water bottles from the U.S. Army and 200 bottles from the U.S. Navy to be handed out to students free of charge. In just the first week of school, Bye said 375 bottles were given to students who used them to save an estimated 2,000 single-use plastic water bottles, according to the water stations’ digital use trackers.

“Dennis Bye is resourceful and did a great job securing the free water bottles from the armed service recruiters. He fosters healthy working relationships with our local recruiters and the water bottle donation is another example of the positive dividends of that relationship,” Halloran said.

“The bottom line is our kids are now drinking water all day long and I am positive they will become better students because of it,” said Bye.

By Josh Bovee

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