By HEATHER TOMLINSON, CJ Staff Writer Commonwealth Journal
Pulaski County Community Development Director Tiffany Bourne is expected to bring an apparent low bidder for the Fountain Square Beautification Project — an undertaking four years in the making — before fiscal court next week.
“Once we have approval, we can start demolition,” said Bourne on Friday.
Bourne said the county received four bids for the project on Friday morning, with a bid from Hil-Don Construction being accepted as the apparent lowest bid. Bourne said the acceptance of that bid won’t be official until the Kentucky Department of Transportation and Pulaski County Fiscal Court approve the bid.
But she’s still eagerly looking forward to the next phase of the $1 million project, with $800,000 of that funded through a Transportation Enhancement Grant.
The remaining $200,000 comes through in-kind contribution from the county.
“I am excited,” Bourne said. “I am relieved that we got a bidder within our budget.”
The initial bidding process in late August ended up with two bids, both more than $300,000 too high.
Now, that’s history, and the county will hopefully be moving forward with the project come Wednesday.
The scope of construction includes demolition of the existing fountain, sidewalks, walls, site amenities and electrical components. It includes installation of a new fountain, sidewalk pavement with pavers, light poles and fixtures, irrigation, landscaping, retaining walls and seat walls.
The area will include two water features and improved access to the square.
“There will be two pools; a small pool inside a large pool,” Bourne said in a past Commonwealth Journal article. “A powerful and impressive water display will jut from the smaller pool and falling water will cascade off the smaller pool into the larger pool.”
Base lighting will illuminate water in the gushing display.
“There will be three different ways (crosswalks) to get to the square,” Bourne also said.
Currently, there is no access to the square; in other words, jaywalking is the only way to get across the street to the square area.
Also, the fountain’s electrical wiring will be upgraded. The existing fountain is hooked to the courthouse electrical system and operation of the fountain often disrupts computers in the various offices.
Bourne has indicated the design of Fountain Square will complement the courtyard at Pulaski Court of Justice.
Other notable changes in the renovated Fountain Square area will be relocation of the statue of John Sherman Cooper. The statue, now facing west, will look south toward First and Farmers National Bank.
Bourne hopes to begin demolition in December, and she said their target completion date is April 1, 2013, just in time for the first Somernites Cruise of the 2013 season.