|$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, (the contract was approved by the Board for a one year renewal at the October 18, 2018 meeting), developed options to repair the fountains which range in cost from $212,229 to $431,152, which is inclusive of repairs, engineering services, testing and a 10% contingency, depending on which option is approved.
Upon review by the Board in April 2019, it was determined that a structural engineer be retained to provide a third-party review of the plans and to provide construction project support services. It is recommended to retain these services to Moffatt & Nichol's existing contract with The Township (Contract No. C-2017-0481), at a fee of $19,400. Other costs to be incurred include testing fees and a 10% contingency fund.
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 repairs the Ellipse per the original construction.
- Option 1 Cost: $171,798 + $19,400 project management + 11% testing fees and contingency = $212,229 (Funding: $65,992 Capital Project balance & $146,237 Capital Contingency Reserve)
- Option 2A Cost: $300,486 + $19,400 project management + 11% testing fees and contingency = $355,073 (Funding: $65,992 Capital Project balance & $289,081 Capital Contingency Reserve
- Option 2B Cost: $369,026 + $19,400 project management + 11% testing fees and contingency = $431,152 (Funding: $65,992 Capital Project balance & $365,160 Capital Contingency Reserve)
Option 2A repairs the Ellipse with a different structural slab floor with a cost of $146,198 additional to improve the structural base.
Option 2B repairs the Ellipse with the structural slab floor and replaces the robotic water features = $68,540 additional to replace/upgrade the water feature elements.
|Considered of the repairs to the Fountains at Waterway Square has been considered by the Board of Directors several times this year beginning February 28 and most recently on August 16. At the July 27th meeting, a request was to identify the costs of the upgrades for the water, sound, light, programming feature elements versus the cost for the basic structural and mechanical repairs. The repair costs are itemized in Attachment A.
Note: these amounts do not include project management and testing fees and contingency. The amounts are provided to identify the costs directly related to the basic repairs versus upgrades to the water, lights and programming features.
- Option 1 repairs the fountain back to the original construction with no improvements or upgrades. Cost is $171,798.
- Option 2A repairs the fountain with a different improved structural slab floor to the Ellipse, but no upgrades to the water, light, programming features. Cost difference is an additional $146,198.
- Option 2B repairs the fountain per 2A and also replaces the water, light, sound programming features with new elements, lights and operating system. Cost difference is an additional $68,540 over Option 2A.
Additional information has been provided by Fountain Works regarding the upgrades and current conditions:
For the budgetary estimate (robotic option 2B), installation assumes use of two small 3-axis robotic water features in the ellipse. Existing pumping capability would be utilized. These devices require control signals that the current system is not capable of producing. The lifespan of the new equipment is dependent on proper maintenance, proper installation,etc. However, it's not uncommon to have this type of device operate for several years before needing a rebuild, but rebuilds are predictable and manageable.
Regarding the current control system, the main Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) for control of the fountain has failed. It's had issues for some time and Fountain Works has been able to work around them (installation of a standalone windage control system, for example) but the controller recently failed completely. Fountain Works installed temporary standalone water level controls for both fountains as a stop-gap measure while the new control system issue is determined by the Board of Director. This is becoming more of a daily issue so Fountain Works is preparing a quote to replace the existing PLC with a functional unit in the event the Board of Directors elects to not upgrade the operating system, but it won't be able to interface with the existing audio portion of the show control. Much of this goes unnoticed because the majority of the "show" is produced by the water features in the ellipse, which is of course, out of service.
Because of the issues with the existing control system and the need to replace it, it would seem a good time to upgrade the water features as well. The cost to replace the existing PLC (which won't interface with the audio system) could be put towards a complete new system that would get the Township out from under the "ownership" issue with the show programming that we've all struggled with for so long and replace the water features in the ellipse which are approaching the end of their lifespan.
Another request was for additional information regarding the terms of the Donation Special Warranty Deed that conveyed the Fountains to the Township (Attachment B). As a result, the Second Amendment to the Donation Special Warranty Deed has been prepared for Board consideration under separate agenda item ( Attachment C).
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 (Attachment D - photos of fountains). 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.
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 Land Development Company (TWLDC) who managed the original design and construction of the fountains, developed options on how to best address the repairs from short term (Option 1) to long term (Option 2A and 2B)). The current situation is the second time in ten years that a major repair of the fountains has been necessary. Additionally, the computer hardware, software programs, and water feature fixtures are over ten years old and are due for replacement and upgrading. 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.)
- Cost- $212,229 (total cost including professional fees, contingency, and testing)
- Shortest repair time-approximately 8 weeks
- 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; Design still prone to repair challenges due to its slab on grade construction.
- Option 2A- Replace Ellipse floor with a structural slab and original fountain equipment
- Cost-$355,073 (total cost including professional fees, contingency, and testing)
- 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.
- 10-year-old equipment- jets, controllers, etc. per above
The work to perform the repairs is on the upper fountain bowl/ellipse. The water wall and "Grandma's Purse" interactive water feature will be impacted for a period. The stone veneer tiles of the ellipse will be removed to ensure proper structural support, assuming Option 2A or 2B is selected. The tiles were custom sized to fit the curve of the slope, therefore each piece must be protected and replaced exactly as removed. During this time, the tiles will be evaluated for mineral deposit removal/cleaning and sealing.
- Option 2B- Replace Ellipse floor with a structural slab and replace existing equipment with new robotic water features and new nonproprietary control system
- Cost-$431,152 (total cost including professional fees, contingency, and testing)
- Most expensive
- 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
The Board of Directors received and considered these Options at its April 19, 2018, meeting and directed that a professional engineering firm be retained to review the construction plans and oversee the project and for staff to discuss with TWLDC the potential for TWLDC to participate financially in the repair project, perhaps in conjunction with the negotiation regarding the Westin’s lease of the pedestrian bridge for their outdoor patio area. The negotiation with TWLDC resulted in the Township’s gaining rights to the Waterway concession kiosk and no apparent desire to contribute to the Fountain repair project.
The Township has two professional engineering firms currently under contract: HDR and Moffatt & Nichol. The firms were asked to submit Task Order Proposals for plan review and construction support (Attachment E) and Moffatt & Nichol is recommended to perform the services.
The repair is estimated to take 14 weeks to complete and work should not interfere with the normal use of the park/plaza or obstruct pedestrian ways or surrounding businesses. Staff and Fountain Works will work together to identify methods in which to reduce the repair work schedule.