Workers with heavy equipment began ripping out the old Ely Square fountain Monday in preparation for a replacement to be installed this summer and dedicated Labor Day weekend.
Two excavators were digging up the concrete in the circular fountain. It has not been operational for some time due to wear and tear, and it was last updated in the 1970s, according to the city.
Mayor Holly Brinda said Monday the fountain hopefully will be completed in time for the Cleveland Pops Orchestra concert and this year’s Apple Festival.
Brinda previously said the city has raised $350,000 through private donations toward the construction of the new fountain. Signs will go up after the work is done, thanking those donors who contributed.
A donation drive began in 2017, the city’s bicentennial year. Public input from Elyrians on what they wanted to see in a new fountain will mean a two-tiered structure with colored lights.
Using city workers to do some of the work for the project lowered the cost of replacing the fountain from an original estimate of $900,000, Brinda said.