BAYLOR UNIVERSITY FOUNTAIN PROJECT
Georgia Precast Solutions completed a 20 foot fountain bowl, all in one piece when
others said it could not be done. We take pride on doing what others believe can’t be done.
This project uses our precast concrete. Installation and water feature by Greenscape Pump, designed by office of James Burnett.
Article by J.B. SMITH – Monday, September 14, 2015
It looked like a flying saucer on a truck and turned heads on highways from Atlanta to Waco. Now, after two weeks in transit, the enormous bowl for Baylor University’s new Rosenbalm Fountain is at rest. Crews on Sunday used a crane to lower the 20-foot-diameter, 15-ton concrete bowl at the new Fifth Street Promenade near the Bill Daniel Student Center.
The $6 million pedestrian promenade is due to be open by Baylor homecoming Oct. 22, offering the campus community a central spot to meet and socialize amid the roar of a fountain. “It will really be a centerpiece, a place for students and other people to hang out between classes,” said landscape architect Will Benge of Houston-based Office of James Burnett. “It’s a crossroads for the whole campus.”
The promenade project involves replacing an asphalt street with a decorative concrete walkway with landscaping, seating and grassy areas. The walkway will be closed to routine car traffic, though it will still be used for parades, with ample room for floats. The project is funded by a gift from retired physician and Baylor alumnus Dr. Thomas J. Rosenbalm in honor of his parents, Clarence and Claudia Rosenbalm.
The circular fountain itself should be eye-catching, with 10 jets shooting toward the central bowl and five jets shooting upward as high as 30 feet. Benge said the 4-foot-high bowl is designed with a “knife edge,” so water will cascade from it in sheets. The bowl sits atop a similar-sized mound that is now being tiled with granite. An Atlanta-area company, Georgia Precast, fashioned the bowl in one piece, pouring high-grade concrete into a customized mold with steel reinforcement inside. Kent Garcia, project manager with the company, said no other companies that bid for the project offered to make a one-piece bowl. “We wanted it to be in one piece,” he said. “It’s going to be structurally sound, and you’ll never have to worry about separation. That is the key.”
Shipping the fountain bowl required lots of planning, with police escorts and an advance team of surveyors along the route. At 20 feet wide, the bowl took up two lanes of traffic and was restricted from transit on weekends and holidays. Other restrictions prevented the crews from taking it through Alabama. The bowl traveled from Atlanta to Chattanooga, then through Tennessee into Mississippi, then into Louisiana and Texas along Interstate 20.
Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said the fountain plaza is shaping up to be a defining feature of campus. “The Fifth Street project will significantly transform the infrastructure and aesthetics of one of the most meaningful spaces on our campus,” she said.