The city approved an agreement with Grand Valley State University for a School of Engineering 2017 senior project. The project would help design and identify improvements to the water features at the fountain.
According to Grand Haven Facilities Manager Dan Vivian, there are three things the city would like to get out of the partnership — one being a possible new fountain water feature.
“There hasn’t been any new water features added to the musical fountain, with the exception of the peacocks, since it was built,” he said.
Officials note that as advances in programming have progressed, they’ve maximized the amount of movement possible with the existing mechanical makeup of the fountain’s water features. Over the past year there have been discussions within the Musical Fountain Committee regarding the possibility of adding a new water feature.
According to Vivian, one of the design ideas being considered is some type of spinning water feature.
“They’ll look at some research and design, and look at some construction items to see if we can implement that,” Vivian said.
The second aspect of the fountain GVSU engineering students examine are the existing water sweep functions — original equipment to the fountain, Vivian said.
“Now, we basically have seven stops on the sweeps and only a limited amount of speed because of the mechanical limits of it,” Vivian said.
Officials hope to find a way to upgrade equipment so that the sweeps can move faster and stop at different areas.
“The third thing we’d get out of this project is complete documentation of the water, hydraulic and pneumatic system,” Vivian said. “They would measure all that out, put it in the CAD and give us a full set of drawings for that, which we do not have right now.”
Vivian noted that while the request for the project is for $23,300, the city is only committed to $3,300 to GVSU.
“The $20,000 is an estimate for mechanical items if we accept their design features and implement them,” Vivian said. “We don’t have to accept it. We can take the design, shelve it and implement it four, five, 10 years down the road.”
Added Vivian: “They just want to know we’re committed to more than throwing some money at them to do some paperwork.”
Funding for the project will come out of the Musical Fountain fund at the Grand Haven Community Foundation. According to City Manager Pat McGinnis, the fund has a balance of $193,000.