When Brookfield trustees voted in August 2021 to award a $641,700 construction contract for the new fountain at Eight Corners, Trustee Kit Ketchmark took pains to ask for clarification on just what words were going to be displayed on the concrete basin.
He was asking because while the color rendering that had been released by the village correctly showed those words to be “Veterans Memorial Circle,” the construction contract incorrectly and repeatedly referred to the project — and the wording to be used on the basin – to be “Veteran’s Memorial Circle.”
Ketchmark was assured that a fountain matching the color rendering was the one that would be delivered when it was finally built.
So, when the concrete basin’s forms were removed on April 8, you may have been able to hear teeth grating all across the village, because there it was, twice:
“It’s clear that the village board’s intention was that the design was ‘veterans’ without the apostrophe,” said Brookfield Village Manager Timothy Wiberg. “And it’s tough to point a finger to who it was [who approved the wrong version], but village staff didn’t approve it.”
According to Wiberg, someone from Hitchcock Design Group, the company hired to oversee the fountain project apparently gave the OK.
On April 12, Tim King, Hitchcock Design’s principal, met with Brookfield Public Works Director Carl Muell and Dan O’Malley, from the village’s engineering firm, Hancock Engineering, at the worksite to settle on a fix, one that is supposed to be carried out later next week.
The solution they’ve settled on, said King, will involve filling in the apostrophe and then cutting a new “S” into the concrete basin to move it closer to the “N” to close the resulting gap.
Since the depressed lettering will be stained black to make the words stand out and the area of the fix is small, it shouldn’t be too noticeable, according to King and O’Malley.
“Right off the bat you might see a little bit of a patch standing this close,” said O’Malley during an interview within a few feet of the new fountain at the circle. “But our hope would be that within a year as the concrete weathers, even standing this close you wouldn’t notice.”
Muell pointed out that the new design of the fountain is such that it won’t be a destination for pedestrians. The war memorial monuments that had been placed on the circle are being moved to Veterans Park, about two blocks away at Sunnyside Avenue and Grand Boulevard.
“The closest you’re supposed to be is across the street, so this fix should work,” he said.
Fixing the mistake is not a big operation and probably will not end up costing a large amount of money. While it’s not clear exactly who will end up footing the bill for the fix, it’s likely to be Hitchcock Design Group.
“This has not stopped work on the fountain; it is not a critical path element,” Wiberg said.
The project is still on target to be substantially completed by May 18, which means it ought to be operational to mark Memorial Day on May 29.