Lanett fountain undergoing major repair work

Published 11:00 am Thursday, June 30, 2022

LANETT — The downtown fountain in Lanett is undergoing some major repair work and should be running again by mid-July.

Fire & EMS Chief Johnny Allen has been heading up the project on behalf of the city and is confident the 28-foot-wide fountain will be in better condition than ever when it’s turned on once again.

“Our downtown fountain is something people of the city and visitors to the area really enjoy seeing,” said Chief Allen. “Before it went down I can’t tell you how many times I went by there and people were taking photos of family members standing next to it. I’ve seen prom pictures, graduation pictures and family group pictures being taken there. It’s a source of pride for our city, and we need to have it running again and running for the long term.”

The fountain has not running for some time now. “We first had to figure out what happened to it and what we needed to do to get it up and running again,” Allen said.

The first major step was to rebuild the base. Blackwell’s, Inc., an industrial contractor from LaGrange, was hired to do that.

Allen said the original base may not have been the right material. “They had to grind it down and repair some small cracks that had worked into it,” Allen said.

The rebuilt base will be in three layers, the final one having the light blue pool bottom color. New pipes will be going in, and the lights will still be there to change colors. In the past, the pool water was dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day and pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The pool lights were orange on Halloween night and red and green during the Christmas season. When the Lanett Panthers won the state championship in football in 2019, the fountain lights were black and gold.

“We should be finished with the base early next week,” Allen said. “We will then bring in a pool company to replace a small motor and repair some of the plumbing. We should then be able to fill it up with water and hopefully by the middle of next month have it running again.”

When it’s running properly, the fountain can jet sprays of water some 15 feet high. It creates a cool mist that’s especially enjoyable on hot days.

Allen said he’s pleased by the work done thus far by Blackwell’s and is confident the project can be completed in a couple of weeks. “We know how much this fountain means to the people of Lanett and the surrounding area,” Allen said. “We want to make sure it’s done right and will last for a long, long time.”

Lanett has had a downtown triangle since the earliest days of the city. For years there was a service station on the site, and at one time a cab station. The first fountain wasn’t nearly as large as the current one but made for an attractive sight for many years. It was turned on for the first time in 1969 and was maintained by the Town & Country Garden Club for a long time. The original fountain has been refurbished and is now at Dean Park across from Lanett City Hall.