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Columbia County Rotary Club to resume Heritage Park fountain

Local Rotary president anticipates it will be finished in 2015


by: SUBMITTED IMAGE - The Scappoose Rotary Fountain, designed by the world-renowned Scappoose-based artist Michael Curry, will have light and sound features as well as timed misters that can also be activated manually. The fountain will be be about 22 feet tall with eight arms, each with a number of misters. Completion for the project is estimated for the summer of 2015. Scappoose City Councilors voted unanimously to allow the local Rotary International chapter to move forward with plans to install a fountain in Heritage Park.

Construction is scheduled to begin Jan. 17 with a completion date of May 2015. But that’s only in the best-case scenario, says Gary Liao, president of the Columbia County Rotary Club.

“If things go as planned, it will be complete a year from May,” Liao said. “Ideally, I think everyone wants it complete by 2015.”

The next step for the Rotary club is to submit final design plans to the city for review, Liao said.

Liao said Rotary has secured about $50,000 in actual collections and pledges for the fountain, which was designed as a donation by Michael Curry and his world-renowned Scappoose design studio.

Liao said both the Scappoose Community Club and State Sen. Betsy Johnson pledged $5,000 for the project. The city of Scappoose has approved $40,000 for the fountain, but Rotary won’t see that money until July 1, at the start of the city’s next budget cycle.

“We believe that we have enough to proceed, we believe that the cash will be enough,” Liao said.

The Northwest College of Construction, a nonprofit organization founded by construction companies and other employers to provide training in construction trades, will donate labor for the project.

So far, Liao said, a lot of the project’s costs have been low since most everything that has gone into its design and future construction has been donated. The labor, architectural engineering, general contracting and design were all provided at no cost.

“Curry donated the design efforts, that was a big donation for us,” he said. “The fabrication we will pay for.”

Liao added that Rich Bailey, of Rich Bailey Construction, donated the general contracting for the project and Tim Mosterdyke, director of education at the Northwest College of Construction, will coordinate the donated labor.

Water from the fountain will drain into a swale surrounding the structure rather than being pumped back into the system for re-use. “We considered water conservation to minimize use,” Liao said. “We did think about recirculating and filtering and there are laws that require a huge burden if you want to recirculate water for people playing in it.”

Instead, Liao said, the fountain was designed to mist those interacting with it rather than blast solid-stream jets.