“There will be grout and tile over that,” explained Tiffany Bourne, community development director for Pulaski County who has spearheaded the $1 million Fountain Square Beautification Project. She obviously does not think the color of the waterproofing material will match the planned color scheme of the park and doesn’t want the public to get the wrong impression.
Base of the new fountain is the circular concrete, 32 feet in diameter, that has arisen in the center of the square.
The new fountain promises to be something else. Nineteen jets will propel water 15 feet into the air. An inner-raised pool will overflow into a lower pool.
The fountain will have a mind of its own. Sensors atop First and Farmers National Bank building on the south side of the square will lower the water display in light wind and shut it down completely when the wind is high.
Bourne and Russell Sitter, creator of the fountain, both agree the Fountain Square renovation project is on schedule for completion in June.
As for as creation of the new fountain, Sitters said: “I am very pleased with the contractor.” Hil-Don of Burkesville, the same firm that did the streetscape on North Main Street, is general contractor for the Fountain Square project.
“We’ll have a dedicatory ceremony sometime in July,” promised Bourne.
Renovation of Fountain Square is being done with an $800,000 Transportation Enhancement Grant and $200,000 in-kind contribution by Pulaski County government.
M2D Design Group and Bell Engineering, architects for the project, say the renovated square will be an open plaza space that will be a focal point and an inviting gathering place. Steps and surrounding walls will provide a variety of informal seating.
Center of the square will be a circular plaza of concrete paving and brick pavers. Memorial bricks will be located in paver bands. The square renovation is designed to be cohesive with and complement the plaza at Pulaski Court of Justice.
The statue of the late Senator and Ambassador John Sherman Cooper will be relocated to face south, toward First and Farmers National Bank. There will be space for another statue, rumored but not confirmed to be that of Congressman Hal Rogers. Cooper’s statue is in storage during the renovation project.
A simple landscape of lawn, evergreen shrubs, grasses and trees will create a low maintenance frame for the plaza. Six of the existing cherry trees have been preserved. Concrete planters will provide opportunities for seasonal color.
Stamped crosswalks will provide safe pedestrian crossings directly to Fountain Square. A raised island with a roll curb and stamped concrete will be a pedestrian refuge at East Mt. Vernon Street.
New striping and arrows will help direct traffic through the square. Signage will be consolidated and relocated on mast arms.