When the Scioto Mile Fountain first opened back in 2011, it totally changed the downtown riverfront.
Serving as a splash pad and a visual art installation, the fountain was beautiful but problematic. The structure has been leaking, but instead of a simple repair, the city has decided to undergo a $15 million public-private partnership to rip the fountain out and totally replace it.
The fountain will be replaced and rebranded as an aquatic experience, retaining the splash pad features but adding a little more pizzazz.
The latest proposal will keep some elements of the current fountain, including the trademark halos and the large central bloom. While the project is expected to be gorgeous, it’s also on track to be very expensive.
The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation is going to act as the project administrator and city taxpayers will contribute $7.5 million to the project, which is expected to reopen on Memorial Day 2024.
City representatives say that the benefits of replacing the current fountain make the expense worth it.
Not only is the fountain visually iconic for our skyline, but it is also a free amenity for Columbus residents, popular with families on hot summer days when they’re looking for relief from the heat. The new fountain is expected to become a destination year-round, thanks to lighting and sculpture upgrades around the fountain plaza.
The fountain won’t be open at all in 2023 as construction on the project gets underway.