Rousseau Centre fountains flowing again thanks to $2 million facelift

Workers replace deck pavers at the Rousseau Centre last year. ( file photo by Kevin Leininger)

After an absence of about six years, water is once again flowing from the pair of fountains on the Rousseau Centre plaza in downtown Fort Wayne.

The fountains at the count-owned former City-County Building have been turned off since 2012 after several attempts to repair leaks were unsuccessful. Last year, the County Commissioners approved plans that called for demolishing the old concrete stands, replacing the flat roof under the plaza and installing a protective membrane, reworking the drainage, replacing the pavers and restoring the fountains. Total cost of the project involving the west, south and east sides of the plaza was $2 million. Each fountain has six spray nozzles and holds approximately 6,500 gallons of water. Two new pumps and two new filter systems were installed, and new coping was placed around each fountain to accent the new plaza pavers.

“It took the design of architects at Martin Riley, the hard work of the general contractor CME, their subcontractors and our own maintenance department to whip those two fountains back into shape,” Vance Hernandez, director of county buildings and grounds maintenance, said in a statement. Hernandez said he hopes work on the north side of the plaza can begin next year. That project would include adding new pavers, replacing the roof underneath the pavers and performing landscape work.

The north side project will be a collaboration with the city of Fort Wayne, the Plaza Condo Association and Arts United and will help connect The Landing project on the west side of the Rousseau Centre to the Arts United campus on the east side.