Friday, May 27, 2011

Night Time Light Test #FriendshipFountain

Last night anyone that was at The Landing or crossing the Main Street Bridge may have gotten a glimpse of the New Friendship Fountain in all it's glory. AC General arranged for a test run of the Fountain Lights and Music Programming which started around 6:30 PM ET and then really got going about 8:30 PM when the sun went down.

One highlight...

Still some issues to be worked out, which is exactly why they scheduled this test, but at times the Fountain performed better than I can ever remember. Including a short full pressure test which took the center ring to over 100 feet in height.

Folks from AC General, Delta Fountain, Southeast Electrical M.V. Cummings and JBC Planning and Engineering were on hand for the test.

(Martin Bryant - Project Manager (He's the one really who is really comfortable), Scott Johnston from Delta Fountains, Mike Carney with MVCE Engineers and Nick Mousa from JBC Planning & Engineering look on from the top of the Pump House, arguably the best seats in the house)

(Larry Summerville AC General Superintendent, Dave Bowen and Timmy Carter with Southeast Electrical and Danny Strickland with AC General look pleased with what they are seeing.)

One snippet of new information that came out is that the Outer rings can now pump more water than ever in the history of the Fountain and one effect is a dome effect of the outer ring completely covering the fountain.

(John McNeely with Delta Fountains running the actual programming for the test.)

Here is a twilight shot of the Fountain, the LED lights are just starting to be visible in the water streams.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to get video of the most impressive part of the test however i did get a short snippet when the test was complete of the Fountain clad in it's Jaguars Teal Colors :)

Impressive is the only word that I could think of as i watched the Fountain pumping in all it's glory. It has been years since the Fountain was able to perform at this level and it may be performing better than it ever has with the new pumps, the lighting is certainly far improved over any previous lighting and just takes your breath away at times...

All of the pictures I took last evening can be seen here:

More sod will be laid early next week, which by the way is Bermuda Tifway 419 grass, as well as additional lighting in the Park itself and hopefully there will be an additional night light test next week and if so you can bet I will be there.

Till next time,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

#FriendshipFountain and Park May 25, 2011 Update

Larry Summerville called me today to let me know that they were beginning to lay sod, so naturally I dropped everything ;) and ran on down to the Fountain.

Here is the first sod being laid...

An here is shot I took with a new App, Retro Cam, on my Dell Streak, which I call the "Beast"

Gives you an idea what everything will look like when all the green has been added.

I keep looking back at old pictures and still can't get over how much this renovation is changing the park and how much better it will be when completed.

Speaking of being completed remember that the grand reopening of Friendship Fountain and Park is scheduled for the Morning of Saturday Jun 18, 2011 and you will want to be sure to make plans to be there.

I also keep seeing pictures like the below image that once everything is done are just going to be awesome. Think of all the picture possibilities once all the sod is in place, it is going to be amazing...

The new flag poles have been set and the lamp posts are all in place...

Just needs some more grass and finishing touches and I have to tell you I am still amazed at the changes and how much improved everything will be when done.

Once again I must thank Larry Summerville and AC General for their cooperation with us during this renovation and how accommodating everyone has been, not to mention the sense of pride I have found in everyone working on the project.

Just a few more posts until June 18, when I hope to get to meet many of you that have been following these posts...

Till next time,

Friday, May 20, 2011

#FriendshipFountain and Park May 20, 2011 Update

Landscaping is the name of the game now at Friendship Fountain Park.

Holly Trees have been planted around the Pump house as well as a string of trees in the westdside terraced area. Additionally stands of what I have been told are Cord Grass have been planted in an area adjacent to the main walkway, around the palm trees and is still being planted in an area on the north east side of the Fountain.

The turf block has all been laid and filled in with dirt/planting soil... (you can see some of the Holly trees around the pump house as well)

Larry Summerville the Superintendent said that this coming week additional palm trees will be brought in and possibly starting to lay sod by the end of the week...

All in all really starting to shape up...

Don't forget to mark your Calendars for Jun 18, 2011 for the Grand reopening, we certainly hope to see as many folks as possible :)

Till next time,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

#FriendshipFountain Special Update - Center Ring

Larry Summerville called me yesterday to alert me that they would be doing a full pressure test of the fountain pumps and nozzles and I scampered on down to get a look.

That is Eric Beebe standing in front of the Fountain, he is about 6 foot tall for height comparison, and he also worked on the last Friendship Fountain refurb in the early 2000's.

As you can note the Center ring is being pushed to the right due to winds I would guess to be around 15 - 20 mph and caused severe water over spray that completely soaked the east side of the Park and required that the pumps be turned down to about 60 - 75%.

Here is a shot of the Pump control panel with (left to right) Eric Beebe, Danny Strickland and Larry Summerville, all from AC General, as they were powering up the pumps.

The park is starting to shape up and this week they are expecting new trees to be put into place and then they should be starting on laying the new sod...

I will have an update again this Friday if not sooner and if you want to get into the discussion there is a pretty active one going on at Metro Jacksonville Forums.

Till next time,

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Times Union: Friendship Fountain's new pumps get a workout

The Times Union mentions the testing of the pumps at Friendship Fountain and carries a link to one of the Panoramic Images we have here at

Thanks TU :)


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Special #FriendshipFountain Update - Water Flows

I received a call from Larry this morning that they were about to send water under pressure to the Fountain and I grabbed my camera and was on my way.

I was able to get a couple of quick pictures posted to Twitter from my cell phone, "The Beast", just to get the first images on the web :)

They are being very careful at this point and only placed full pressure on the center ring for a few minutes but it sure looked great.

Over the next few days they will be working on regulating the flow as well as getting the engineers to program the light and flow patterns for the planned water sequences...

There are just a few more sections of guardrail to be put into place and I understand some preliminary landscaping may start this weekend.

More pictures from my quick trip today are here:

I also got to meet Danny Strickland again as he was present to see the Fountain pump test and of course Larry Summerville, who I have mistakenly referred to as project manager when his actual title is Superintendent, was there and again I must thank Danny, Larry and everyone at AC General for their allowing my full access to the project and site.

Till next time,

Sunday, May 08, 2011

#FriendshipFountain Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7, 2011 Updates

I got the opportunity to get down to Friendship Fountain on Friday afternoon as usual but also took an extra trip down Saturday Morning...

New Panoramic image here:

It was busy on Friday, there had to be at least 20 workers on site, Pipe fitters installing the nozzles, Electricians working on lighting, AC General guys installing the guardrails and workers laying Turf Block.

Turf Block was being laid behind the Pumphouse. Turf Block is Designed to allow for a more natural look for an area that will experience vehicle traffic.

I wasn't able to get on the roof of the Pumphouse on Friday but was able to on Saturday morning to get some new overview pictures.

On Saturday I was also able to get down into the Fountain Pool once again and took some close-ups of the different ring sections as well as the got a close look at the work the electricians were doing.

See a 360 degree video taken from the exact center of the Fountain Pool.

There are 72 electrical connection boxes, each of which must be filled with a special insulating and sealing compound to completely waterproof the wiring.

As I mentioned the AC General guys were hard at work installing the new stainless steel guardrails which look really good.

The nozzles have all been placed back into place, they have all been reconditioned by AC General and look like they are ready for another 20 year stint...

The pipes have all had water pushed through them prior to the nozzles being replaced to clean out any loose material and sometime in the next week I expect to receive a call from Larry, the Project Manager, indicating they are ready to test the Fountain's full water features...

Until then...