More coverage of the Fountain Renovation

In Thursday’s Times Union two additional stories…

Times Union Sep 2, 2010 Front page With renovation, Jacksonville’s Friendship Fountain will fly high again By Dan Scanlan

Times Union Sep 2, 2010 Ron Littlepage Welcome improvements coming on the Southbank

It will be exciting to continue tracking the renovation work and see the progression of the changes to the Park and see the Fountain back in full operation when this is all done 🙂

I also would like to take this opportunity to remind folks that they can submit their own pictures of Friendship Fountain at anytime at the following link:
http://JaxFountain.com/upload.shtm

-Bob

More from the Ground Breaking Ceremony.

Wow I still can’t believe it, but it is finally reality not only are we keeping Friendship Fountain but we are getting it renovated as well as an upgrade to the park area…

It was just about 4 years ago when the idea of replacing Friendship fountain with Kids Kampus was floated…
http://jacksonville.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/stories/2006/03/06/story7.html . A pretty detailed history of getting up to this point can be seen here: http://friendshipfountain.com/index1.shtml

However today, when cooler heads finally prevailed, we have the ground breaking for the $3.2 Million Friendship Fountain & Park Renovation.

The Mayor spoke for a few minutes extolling the value of Friendship Fountain and park as the “50 Yard Line” of the City of Jacksonville and his hopes this will be just the first step in many revitalization projects and initiatives.

Eric Lindstrom, Redevelopment Manager for the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission was present along with many other members of the Development Commission. City Councilman Warren Jones was also present.

Dan Scanlan of the Times Union was present and he interviewed me for a few minutes, Dan and I go way back when it comes to issues regarding the Fountain ;). Dee from Action News also was present and interviewed me at length on camera, hopefully that will never see the light of day
Link to Jacksonville.com’s Same day coverage. Watch: Groundbreaking at Friendship Fountain. Additional coverage expected on Thursday from Dan Scanlan and Ron Littlepage…

News4Jax coverage http://www.news4jax.com/news/24841680/detail.html

Action News – TV-47/TV-30 Coverage Friendship Fountain restoration

I also got the opportunity to meet with some representatives of AC General, the General Contractor for the Fountain Renovation. Danny Strickland, one of the principles for AC General, Michael Johnston the Project Manager and another Project Manager for AC General, Marty, who it appears is also AC General’s IT Advisor.

Danny has indicated that JaxFountain.com will be more then welcome at anytime to keep documenting the course of the renovation and the entire AC General Team has been more then kind to us…

Lots more pictures from the ground breaking are located here:
http://jaxfountain.com/Gallery/album01

Also some new pictures have been added to the General renovation gallery as some construction work had already begun, the Fountain itself has had all hardware removed and they have begun demolition on the area of the Park adjacent to the Riverwalk.


Once again my Thanks to everyone that has helped in any way to get to this day and special thanks to Eric Lindstrom for his communications and to the folks from AC General for their cooperation and open access.

Till next week,
Bob

Friendship Fountain Renovation Ground Breaking

Just got back from the Friendship Fountain Ground breaking and wanted to post just a quick note and picture.


More pictures coming…

Mayor Peyton, Councilman Warren Jones and many others were present and I will post more later this evening…

Just think 2 years ago the City was going to demolish the Fountain and move Kids Kampus to the Park area and today we had ground breaking for a $3.2 million dollar renovation for Friendship Fountain and the surrounding park…

That is HUGE!

-Bob

Signs of Progress :)

The renovations for Friendship Fountain and Park are now showing visible signs…

1: Official Project sign in place.

2: Friendship Fountain Park is Closed.

I have been told that actual Demolition will begin Monday Aug 30, 2010 in the morning and the Official Ground breaking is scheduled for Wednesday Sep 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM ET. I plan on being at the Official ground Breaking to grab some pictures for the web site as well as pictures of any actual demo done to that point.

3: Friendship Fountain has been drained…

-Bob

Friendship Fountain Renovation Update

As a result of a couple of inquiries regarding access to Friendship Fountain and the Park for school trips during the school year I contacted Eric with the City Economic Development Commission and Richard with the Contractor AC General and while the renovation work will have some impact on access to the Park and Fountain, MOSH Administrators and the Contractor have met and arranged to provide picnic areas for the Jacksonville School Children’s Field trips to MOSH during this school year.

I have always maintained that one of the most important aspects of ensuring that Friendship Fountain be maintained and kept as a Downtown center piece was for the simple reason that for almost 40 years Jacksonville School Children have taken field trips to The MOSH and were exposed to the Fountain as part of those trips and I am ecstatic that steps are being taken to ensure an uninterrupted continuation of this staple of our children’s growing…

Thank you City of Jacksonville, The MOSH and AC General for working together to see that our children can continue this tradition during these much needed renovations and once completed will make these field trips even more enjoyable and memorable for our children.

-Bob

BIG News! Friendship Fountain/Park Renovations!

Just got an email from Eric Lindstrom, Redevelopment Manager for the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, with an update….

Drum roll please…

The contract on the above project is still going through the execution process. The selected contractor is AC General, Inc. We hope to begin demolition in the next 2-3 weeks. Thank you for your inquiry.

He followed up that email with contact information for AC General Inc, Richard McInturff, PM, who I have already been in contact with who has indicated they will try to keep JaxFountain.com updated with progress…

I also found the following links referring to the project:
http://www.ldiline.com/home.cfm?id=16451

The below link contains .pdf drawings of the project for those so inclined…
http://ldiline.com/select_files.cfm?proj=16451

I plan on getting some current photos of the Fountain and Surrounding Park this week and hope to be able to obtain groundbreaking as well as incremental images of the renovations as they proceed and post them to the JaxFountain.com web site…

Stay tuned we will post any updates as they arrive… Finally some action 😉

-Bob

Friendship Fountain/Park Redevelopment Update

On March 11, 2010 I posted communications I received from Ron Barton, the Executive Director of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, indicating to contact him again in May for an update.

I emailed Ron on May 11, 2010 and today received a reply that Eric Lindstrom,
Redevelopment Manager for the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, would be
contacting me with additional information, that email was received less then an hour later.

The Friendship Fountain improvements will be let for bid May 26. We will open bids June 30. I would anticipate a construction start date by August 1. I can give you a better idea on the actual start date in mid July. Contact me then and I can be more precise on the exact start date. Thanks.

Eric Lindstrom

So I want to thank the Mayor, Ron Barton and Eric Lindstrom for keeping us informed regarding this long overdue restoration and hopefully come July we will know the full exact scope of work and time frame for restoring this Jacksonville Downtown Centerpiece.

Edit: Eric provided additional information regarding the plans for the restoration which can be viewed by accessing the below link and clicking on “February 2010 (PDF 8.94Mb)”
http://www.coj.net/Departments/Jacksonville+Economic+Development+Commission/Downtown+Development/DDRB+Meeting+Information.htm

A direct link to the PDF file is below:
DDRB Meeting Packet February 2010.pdf

Stay tuned…

Bob

Friendship Fountain Refurb Update

I sent an email to the Mayor on February 22, 2010 requesting any information on scheduling for the work that is to be done on the Fountain and Southbank riverwalk.

Today I received a reply from Ron Barton the Executive Director of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission as follows:

Hello Bob. We are still a 2-3 months away from any actual construction.
Just check bak with me via e-mail around May and I should have a
construction schedule updated and that can guide our start and progress.

Which I quickly replied to thanking him for the information and assuring him I would be checking back in May.

Later in the day I realized that the mail contained a Communication to Ron from the Mayor…

Ron, please respond on my behalf and copy me. Thanks.

Glad to see it appears I am off the freeze out list 🙂

Can’t wait to get more information and will do my best to update images on the site once work commences…

-Bob