After sending its design firm back to the drawing board a couple of times, the Brookfield Village Board agreed upon a final design for a new fountain at the veteran Memorial Circle at Eight Corners, with construction still on track for the fall.
Bids from contractors will be opened at 10 a.m. on Aug. 11 at the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave. and trustees likely will award a contract at their meeting on Aug. 23, setting the clock in motion to break ground on a project estimated to cost just under $500,000.
At their meeting on July 26, village trustees came to a consensus on the final sticking point of the design – how to display emblems of each service branch, five in all, for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard — plus a sixth for the Illinois National Guard.
The problem was how and where to mount the emblems, with trustees rejecting one design where the emblems were mounted on low stone plinths, reminiscent to some of tombstones. They also rejected another that mounted the emblems at the top of taller obelisks, which reminded at least one trustee of LaGrange Park street signs, which could be confusing for motorists.
In the end, trustees went with the simplest, cleanest design. The emblems will be made part of the fountain’s basin wall, with the words “Veterans,” “Memorial” and “Circle” in succession between the emblems, so that the name of the memorial is clear to passing motorists.
Earlier in July, trustees had agreed to a design change that will provide more protection for the fountain from vehicles that, in the past, have crashed into the circle and even into the fountain itself.
In addition to the barrier curb around the perimeter of the circle, there will be a second barrier curb, obscured by plantings to soften its look, around the fountain itself. Brookfield employed Hitchcock Design Group, which serves as the village’s main consultant for park improvements, to design the new fountain, which will also include a much more dramatic 10-foot-high spray that can be lit at night by programmable LED lighting.
The Illinois General Assembly earmarked $250,000 through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in the state’s 2019 capital bill to help pay for the improvement. Village Manager Timothy Wiberg said the state recently notified Brookfield it was moving forward with awarding that money to the village.
For the village’s share of the cost, Brookfield will use funds from the Eight Corners TIF District reserve, which can be used to pay for public infrastructure projects within the TIF district.