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:
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,