The City of Evanston Monday announced that it will “temporarily withdraw” its lawsuit against the contractor for the Fountain Square fountain to pursue settlement discussions.

The city sued Copenhaver Construction, Inc. in 2022 alleging defects in construction of the 2017 Fountain Square renovation project.

The fountain has remained off since Spring 2021, when City staff observed that the fountain was unable to retain water when starting the fountain for the season.

The city hired Christopher B. Burke Engineering to assess the issue and provide a plan for repair.

And the city says a forensic engineering study completed by Wiss, Janney, Elstner and Associates, Inc. concluded that the incorrectly sized waterstops inside the fountain were installed and the manufacturer’s recommendations for installation were not followed.

That, the city says, caused water loss of up to 4,536 gallons per day. Copenhaver, the city says, also failed to submit the waterstops to the City for review or approval prior to installation.

The city says extensive repairs are needed to fix the issue, including removal and replacement of granite pavers, existing mechanical systems, electrical systems, and concrete substructure.

Withdrawing the suit is intended to allow time for settlement discussions and formal mediation proceedings. Court rules permit the city to proceed again with the lawsuit if mediation proves unsuccessful.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Hate to say it, but probably more years will go by before this fountain is fully repaired and operational once again.

  2. I say move the original fountain from the Rose Garden back to Fountain Square and call it a day.

    I don’t trust our City to properly manage anything more complex like having the existing mess repaired by yet another contractor(s)

    1. Solid idea RJ, I’ve thought the same sitting at the rose garden—-the mini water cannons spouting from asphalt in front of a glass memorial honoring Evanstonians that paid the ultimate price?—-highly disrespectful and horribly planned—-fountain square is begging for something with architectural class and appeal—-and please move the memorial to Patriots Park

  3. The area is now occupied with tables, and people seem to be enjoying carry out food, or just hanging out. The triangle space south is small, so it’s nice to have the N. part available.

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