The long-awaited project to replace the fountain at Veterans Memorial Circle at Eight Corners in Brookfield is expected to begin this week.
Fencing around the circle went up in late July, signaling the beginning of the $650,000 project.
Derek Treichel of Hancock Engineering, the village engineer, said officials are targeting late October or early November for completion.
According to Tim King of Hitchcock Design Group, which serves as the village’s main consultant for park improvements, Integral Construction Inc. of Romeoville is the general contractor for the project with Fountain Technologies Ltd of Wheeling performing the fountain work.
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.
For the village’s share of the cost, Brookfield will use funds from the Eight Corners Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District reserve, which can be used to pay for public infrastructure projects within the TIF district.
In May 2019, village officials expressed an interest in improving the fountain while making it something enjoyed from a distance. Set in the middle of the Eight Corners roundabout, it’s dangerous for pedestrians to get to and it is not wheelchair accessible.
Treichel said that although state officials have informed village officials that the grant will be awarded, receipt of the funding is on hold while village officials continue to process the grant paperwork.
King said concerns about the use of minority subcontractors that had threatened to torpedo the grant in the spring have been resolved.
One of the highlights of the new fountain is a much more dramatic 10-foot-high spray that can be lit at night by programmable LED lighting.
To provide more protection for the fountain from vehicles that, in the past, have crashed into the circle and even into the fountain itself, plans include a second barrier curb, obscured by plantings to soften its look, around the fountain itself. That will be in addition to the barrier curb around the perimeter of the circle.
Included in the $650,000 price tag is $100,000 that will go toward the construction of a sewer junction chamber beneath the new fountain, made necessary because there is a manhole in the center of the circle. In order for the new fountain to be located in the center of the circle – the existing one is not – the chamber needs to be built to provide access to the sewer.
Emblems of each service branch, five in all, for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard — plus a sixth for the Illinois National Guard, 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. Several options for displaying the emblems were discussed before consensus was reached.
The existing war memorial monuments that ring the fountain will be relocated to Veterans Park, a few blocks south of the circle at Grand Boulevard and Sunnyside Avenue.
In addition to the improvements at the circle itself, village officials have indicated a desire to improve seating areas that ring the outer edge of the roundabout, adding benches and signage describing the circle’s history as a veterans’ memorial.