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Fountain makes warm debut

Warren Rotary gives $50K for restoration

WARREN — The Warren Rotary presented the city a $50,000 check for restoration of the Courthouse Square fountain, an effort that took more than two years to complete.

“This really is more than a restoration, but a rebuild of the fountain,” Warren Utilities Director Franco Lucarelli said Wednesday. “We completely tore out the original fountain, replacing all of the underground plumbing, its pumps, its jet sprays and had it rebuilt from the ground up.”

The structure now is about a foot in diameter smaller than the previous fountain and, because of state regulations, more shallow than the original fountain.

The fountain is only 18 inches deep, and the water will never go higher than 12 inches from the bottom.

The city also refurbished the wrought iron fencing.

The swan that for years sat atop the fountain now is placed on its south side, Lucarelli said. The aluminum structure is coated with a bronze powder coating to make it last longer.

“We wanted to restore the swan without breaking it,” Lucarelli said. “It was very brittle and deteriorating. The restoration process was arduous.”

While water originally shot out of the swan’s beak, it was felt that the swan would last many more years without water going through it.

Additional lights were placed in and around the fountain.

“The lights can be different colors,” Lucarelli said. “During the African American (Achievers) Festival the colors were red, black and green and during the Pride festival they were the colors of the rainbow. It will be red, white and blue for the Fourth of July holiday coming up.

“We can do it for any holiday or festival,” he noted.

Work on the fountain was slowed because of supply chain issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The total cost of the project was about $260,000.

The Warren Rotary’s portion of the fountain project was agreed upon in 2017. It was one of Warren Rotary’s 100-year anniversary projects.

Murphy Contracting Co. Inc. won the contract to do the work.

The original fountain was built in the 1890s, according to Mayor Doug Franklin. The last time it was refurbished was in the 1970s.

Christopher Troy smiled Wednesday as he walked past the fountain.

“I’ve walked the park nearly every day over the past few years,” Troy said. “I am happy the city has gotten it working again. It has not worked at least for the last decade.”

“I’ve seen wedding and graduation photos already have been taken around the fountain,” Lucarelli said. “I’ve also seen parents and grandparents bring children here, talking about when they were growing up in Warren.”

rsmith@tribtoday.com

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