Washington Park repairs should delight this spring

Before long, the fountains at Washington Park will spew again.

Out of order for years, the three fountains in the park’s focal-point pool have been clogged with debris or just plain broken.

The fountains and other improvements, including nearly $10,000 in new sod, will be noticeable to visitors in the coming weeks.

The repairs and landscaping spruce-ups are being paid for by a Knight Foundation grant, said Sam Kitchens, assistant director of the Macon-Bibb County Parks and Beautification Department.

“I’m hoping that’s gonna be one of the prettiest places when we get through. That’s kind of my baby,” he said of the project. “We’ve got a whole lot more work to do.”

One improvement includes a recently rebuilt brick walkway through the middle of the park.

Brick mason Roscoe Ross and his crew began work on it in November before finishing that stretch earlier this month -- about 3,300 bricks later. They were working on another part of the walkway in the Wednesday drizzle.

Many of the bricks Ross is using came from High Street, right around the corner. The city saved them during repair work there years ago.

“This is masonry surgery,” the 59-year-old said. “This is the way you start to build infrastructure.”

Ross said while they’re there, they’ll also repair the park’s old stone walls that surround streams.

“As far as craftsmanship, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Kitchens said. “It’s all about recreating the original structures that were there.”

Workers will also fix the long-cracked concrete pad around the pool.

A new irrigation system has been installed, and a new pump will operate the waterfalls and streams that wind through the terraced, hillside spread below College Street.

A half-dozen new trees and more than 100 plants, mostly azaleas, have also been put in.

The goal, Kitchens said, is for all the work to finished in May.

To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.