Your chances of being able to cool off this summer at the new fountain in Fountain Square seem to be shrinking by the day.

Evanston aldermen Monday are scheduled to approve a contract extension with Christopher B. Burke Engineering, the firm overseeing work on the square for the city.

City officials say the contractor on the project, Copenhaver Construction, has continued to have trouble fixing leaks in the newly installed pipes for the fountain.

The contractor chose to install the structural concrete base and granite finish material before pressure testing the water pipes below, Dave Stoneback, the city’s public works agency director says.

So, when it turned out the pipes did leak, they had to call in a pipe lining company to seal the joints. But that work has been moving slowly, Stoneback says, because of the small pipe sizes and the multiple bends involved.

Stoneback says startup and testing of the fountain will begin once the pipe lining process is completed. That’s currently expected to happen later this month.

A few names of war dead peak out from beneath the tarps covering the new war memorial panels.

The other major delay with the Fountain Square project involves the glass panels in the memorial for Evanston service members who died in the nation’s wars.

The panels were first delivered to the site May 25, but all but one of the panels were damaged during delivery and had to be returned. Replacement panels were delivered and installed in July, but one of those was damaged during the installation process and is now being refabricated.

Stoneback says the final panel is expected to be installed late this month or early in September. 

The extension of Burke’s contract will cost the city $31,000 through Dec. 31, but that’s expected to be recovered from penalty fees imposed on Copenhaver for not finishing the job on time.

Related stories

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Inspectors?

    The Burke Co. is a reputable firm. I assume Copenhaver was the lowest bidder. I can’t imagine not testing the pipes before sealing them in the ground. Why didn’t Burke catch it? And more importantly, where were the city inspectors? Homeowners can’t do anything without having an inspector come out and talk to the contractor and look at the job before it is sealed away.

  2. What if it had leaked later?

    What if the pipes had developed a leak later on? What was the plan to access them in the future?

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *