Board of Directors Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 04/19/2018  

Receive, consider and act upon repairs to the Fountains at Waterway Square (C-2016-0003A);
$174,900 is allocated in the 2018 Town Center Operations Budget for Waterway Square Contracted Services. This amount includes the routine costs for maintenance of the fountains, elevators, electrical, AV, pressure washing and landscaping and a nominal allowance for non-routine expenditures.  Fountain Works, who was awarded the three year contract for Waterway Square Fountain Services by the Board of Directors in 2015, Contract No. (C-2015-0003), developed options to repair the fountains which range in cost from $171,798 to $369,026 depending on which option is approved.  Whatever repair option is selected will be a substantial undertaking involving structural, mechanical and electrical engineering and will be much  more than just a normal repair.  Therefore, it is recommended that additional funding be allocated for third-party contracted engineering and project management services, (typically 10% -12% of a project cost), plus testing fees (1%) and a 10% contingency  amount.  Including these costs, the estimated range for the repair is $211,312 to $453,902.
As this project is not a routine expenditure, other funding sources should be examined.  The Capital Contingency Reserve currently has a balance of $5.2 million, and $65,992 was carried over from the 2017 Town Center Equipment (Capital Project Fund-1716) which was earmarked for a new fountain controller system, which is included in one of the repair options presented. 

Option 1 Cost:  $171, 798 + 23% project management, testing fees and contingency = $211, 312
               Funding: $65,992 Capital Project balance  &  $145,320 Capital Contingency Reserve 
Option 2A Cost: $300,486 + 23% = $369,598
                  Funding: $65,992 Capital Project balance & $303,606 Capital Contingency Reserve
Option 2B Cost: $369,026 + 23% = $453,902
                 Funding: $65,992 Capital Project balance  & $387,910 Capital Contingency Reserve
The Woodlands Township owns and operates The Fountains at Waterway Square, which includes the park, stage, plaza and a state-of-the art dancing water and sound fountain system that some consider the centerpiece of Town Center. Originally installed in 2008, The Fountains have been a focal point for numerous community celebrations and events, including the annual Red, Hot and Blue Extravaganza and Waterway Nights concert series. Furthermore, the Fountains at Waterway Square serve as a prime focus of the 2.5 mile Woodlands Waterway.
The Fountains, themselves, are a myriad of pipes, pumps, motors, and electronic circuitry. While there are daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semiannual and annual preventive maintenance programs and procedures, there are times when major repairs are unforeseen and necessary.  Preventive maintenance occurs on every aspect of the fountain that is physically accessible, but the majority of the fountain's water lines are under cement and buried in the sand base inside the bowl of the ellipse
In February 2018, the Township Board received a report on the issues with the fountains and authorized repairs by the current contractor, Fountain Works, using 2018 Town Center Operations -Contracted Services operating funds .   The repair estimate at that time was $55,840.  After the repair project began,  other problems with the structure and piping  were identified, including but not limited to:  the ellipse floor that holds the fountain hardware is cracked on its main axis, additional voids within the bowl was found, and additional cracked and leaking pipes were identified.
Fountain Works,  consulting with staff, a structural engineer and the architect and engineer of The Woodlands Development Company who were part of the original design and construction of the fountains, has developed options on how to best address the repairs from short term to long term (Attachment A).  The pricing for the options are based on the unit pricing established in the existing services contract. 
  • Option 1- Repair the structure and plumbing and wiring systems to their original design and construction (slab on grade)
    • This option would repair the fountain per the original specifications using all existing original equipment (jets, controllers, etc.)
    • Positive
      • Lowest cost-$171,798 
      • Shortest repair time-approximately 8 weeks
    • Negatives
      • re-uses the existing 10 year old equipment: jets, controllers, lights would continue to be used, much of which is nearing its useful life and is outdated technology
      • Future leaks will remain undetectable as the system has no alarms are any sump pumps for preventative measures
      • Design still prone to repair challenges due to its slab on grade construction. There is limited structure for the cement thus when leaks occur this creates voids which then compromises the structure around the pipes causing the potential for additional leaks
  • Option 2A- Replace Ellipse floor with a structural slab        
    • Install a new structural slab  instead of stab on grade (estimated to be 8-10’ deep)
    • Original equipment (jets, controllers, etc.) would be reinstalled
    • Positive
      • Second lowest cost-$291,710 (with reduced number of headers)
      • Structural concrete would reduce the chance for the slab to crack, if a leak in a pipe was to occur.
    • Negatives
      • 10 year old equipment- jets, controllers, etc. per above
      • Design still prone to repair challenges - per above
      • Longest time under repair-14 weeks
  • Option 2B- Replace Ellipse floor with a structural slab and replace existing equipment with new robotic water features and new realted control system             
    • A structural slab (estimated to be 8-10’ deep)- would be created. 
    • New jets and controller would be installed to update the fountain.  The new system would have programs that replicate the existing dancing waters and music programs
    • Positive
      • Structural concrete would reduce the chance for the slab to crack, if a leak in a pipe was to occur.
      • New water feature equipment 
      • A new controller and control system would be installed which would  eliminate the Township's reliance on a sole source proprietary software. A new control system was budgeted  for the fountain due to challenges with the current system (propriety system)
      • This option would create some level of access to check for leaks
    • Negatives
      • Highest cost-$369,026 
      • Longest time under repair-14 weeks
The work to perform the repairs is on the upper fountain bowl/ellipse.  Therefore, the water wall and "Grandma's Purse" interactive water feature are not affected.  The repair work will not interfere with the normal use of the park/plaza or obstruct pedestrian ways or surround businesses.

As the current situation is the second time in ten years that a major repair of the fountains has been necessary, Option 2B is recommended at a projected cost of $453,902.  This option changes the fundamental method of  the bottom of the bowl construction to a structural slab and replaces the existing ten year old water feature equipment and controls with upgraded new equipment and technology.  It is also recommended to retain professional project design and construction management services to oversee this major repair project.  These services are estimated to be $85,000.  The total estimate to repair and upgrade for Option 2B is $453,902.
Approve moving forward with Option 2B as presented herein, and to authorize the President/General Manager to retain professional engineering/architectural services for project design and management services and to fund the project with the 2017 Capital Project carryover and Capital Contingency Reserves. 
Attachment A - Fountain Works Repair Estimate Waterway Square


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