By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Roosevelt Square upgrade progressing, completion set for fall
0729square1
Selvin Chaez of Baseline Surveying & Engineering works Thursday afternoon at Gainesville’s historic Roosevelt Square. He was preparing the site for a monument spraying water into a pool that will be the centerpiece of the renovation project.

Work on improvements to Roosevelt Square in downtown Gainesville is underway, but most of the visible work will come in late September and later.

The project still is on schedule for a November completion, Barclay Fouts, project manager with the city’s Department of Water Resources, said Thursday afternoon.

The project sits between the city administration building and the Brenau Downtown Center. The old Gainesville City Hall is on one end and a monument to President Franklin Roosevelt is on the other. Roosevelt visited twice — once after the deadly tornado of 1936 and again about a year later after rebuilding from the storm was completed.

Crews have been relocating an existing sewer line, installing storm drains excavating for the water feature.

Construction on the water feature, which will include the “centerpiece” of a 16-ton monument to public safety officers, is expected to start next week. The monument will spray water into a pool.

Building the water feature will take “several weeks,” Fouts said.

In the meantime, the granite monument is being fabricated. He said it should be delivered about the end of September. Star Granite in Elberton is making the monument, he said.

Getting delivery of the monument is “the big ticket,” Fouts said.

When it is delivered, “we’ll be able to start finishing up around the water feature and the monument.”

The access area must be left open until the monument is installed. Then workers can “start closing in” the access area. Sidewalks will be poured, pavers and landscaping installed.

The square also features a natural gas-fueled eternal flame, which was donated Nov. 11, 1969, by the Eugene Brown Post 521 and Paul E. Bolding Post 7 of the American Legion.

The pavers to be installed would allow vendors to set up during festivals.

Officials have said they expect the revamped area will draw community events, group activities such as yoga, concerts, fashion shows and student activities.

Rotary Club efforts to add the public safety monument led city officials to make other improvements. Rotarians will pay for the monument and its installation. Dedication of the monument is planned Dec. 8.

The project will cost an estimated $700,000.

Regional events