In an effort to bring convenience to students as they fill their water bottles in high traffic water fountains, RBHS added on to the water fountain in the foreign language wing and near the gym. This new water feature has a counter on it to keep track of the number of plastic water bottles that have not been used because of the new addition to RBHS. The change to the school fountains makes it more convenient for students with water bottles by putting the bottle under the faucet instead of holding the bottle to the fountain. Students have since been left wondering if RBHS will receive more.
Principal Brian Gaub, who is also in charge of building maintenance, hopes to add more of these fountains to RBHS in the near future eventually. RBHS has two of these fountains at the moment because of the cost along with the fact that they only work on certain fountains.
“They’re a little bit over $400, and then we still have to have a district person install them,” Gaub said. “They’re a kit, and there are certain fountains the kit will work on; they have to have that curved shape on the front for example, the ones in the commons. The ones that are square the kit won’t fit on.”
In order for RBHS to get more of these fountains, Gaub said the ones already in the school would have to be replaced entirely. RBHS would have to spend several hundred dollars, because of the structure of the current fountains, some do not fit with the kit.
“The counter shows that the fountains have been used thousands of times,” Gaub said. “I’ve had students and staff say they appreciate them, and we will be adding more of them eventually; it’s just the cost and the plumbing limitations.”
The limiting factor is the shape of the current fountains since they were not made to be added on to. In the RBHS math wing, the fountains would have to be completely replaced in order to have the water bottle feature. Michelle Ebberts, a math teacher, believes the new feature is helpful but struggles to use them.
“If we had one of those bottle fountains in the basement, I would for sure use it. I actually don’t use it very much, since it’s over by the gym,” Ebberts said. “I don’t make it to those parts of the school very often, since I stick to the basement, so I actually prefer the bathroom sink for now.”
While the water bottle feature is meant to be more convenient and efficient for student and staff to use, senior Cameron Dorth does not believe RBHS needs them at all.
“RBHS could use that money to invest in something that benefits students and faculty more directly than new water fountains,” Dorth said. “That money could go towards maybe a department or sport that doesn’t typically get much attention or funds from the school.”
Dorth believes students would appreciate it if the money that went towards the new water fountain feature went towards clubs or other school activities rather than the students who choose to bring a water bottle.
“I think that would mean a lot to the students involved in those activities as well as to the teachers or sponsors of those things,” Dorth said. “It would be cool to give back some of that money to people that work really hard instead of replacing something that doesn’t need to be replaced, and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” kinda thing.”
While the water bottle fountains are not helpful for Ebberts, she believes they encourage students to use and refill water bottles rather than just buy plastic water bottles.
“Any student that has had me knows my motto, ‘hydration is key,’ and that I think the cure to most things, head ache, stomach ache, tiredness, not wanting to do math, is water,” Ebberts said. “I don’t think it would be a bad idea to invest in a couple of more. We have a water fountain that doesn’t work in the basement, so I would not mind at all if that was switched out for a water bottle fountain.”
Should RBHS invest in more water bottle fountains?