Leaks plague Vail Village fountain | VailDaily.com

Leaks plague Vail Village fountain

Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado ” It seems the saga of Seibert Circle does not want to come to an end.

The fire-and-water-breathing fountain that is being built at the top of Bridge Street continues to run into problems, with workers trying for the last month to find leaks in the fountain’s basin.

“We have found a couple, and we are working on them,” said Todd Oppenheimer, who is managing the project for the town of Vail.

The extra work is being paid for by the contractors who built the leaky basin, Oppenheimer said. The completion date of the project is undetermined. It was supposed to be completed in June. That date had been pushed back from last November. That date was pushed back from last July.

Seibert Circle is at the top of Vail Village’s main pedestrian street, a stone’s throw away from the Vista Bahn ski lift.

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Kim Newbury, a Vail councilwoman who has opposed the Seibert Circle redo from the start, said “it’s disappointing beyond belief” to see the fountain work last so long.

“It’s a huge sum of money for a very small feature,” she said. “We’re now, in my estimate, at least a year behind schedule on it.”

The cost of the project has risen to $1.7 million ” that includes repaving the street and adding snow-melt equipment. The town is paying $1.3 million, with Vail Resorts and private donors contributing the rest.

The fountain replaces a $700,000 sculpture by Jesus Moroles, which some Vail leaders said was not compatible with the village’s Bavarian style.

Ron Riley, a Vail businessman who worked to raise private funds for the fountain, said he’s optimistic that the fountain will bring energy and excitement to Seibert Circle and Vail Village.

“It’s going to be a very positive facility upon its completion, or we wouldn’t have fought so hard to put it in,” he said. “It will have lots of appeal, lots of things going on that will attract people.”

While he admitted the fountain’s construction hasn’t gone smoothly, he noted the design is very complicated.

The fountain was designed by WET Designs, the same company that created the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas. WET employees were in town last month to finish up the fountain, but the town had to send them home after the leaks surfaced. They will come back again once the leaks are fixed.

Oppenheimer said he’d be “very surprised” if the work isn’t done by this winter.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.

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