Community celebrates restoration of fountain

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 Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove
 Groveport Elementary School Principal Mary Schroeder and Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society President Larry Dowler look on as water flows again in the restored fountain in the school’s courtyard. A special rededication ceremony for the fountain was held on Sept. 7.

Water once again flows in the historic stone fountain located in the courtyard of Groveport Elementary.

A special rededication ceremony for the fountain was held on Sept. 7 that included school district officials, Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society representatives, village government dignitaries, residents, teachers, and the students of Groveport Elementary.

The Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society provided the $3,500 to pay for restoring the nearly 80-year-old fountain this summer and the work was completed by Chip Jordan’s Poseidon Pool Company crew.

The fountain was donated to the Groveport Madison School District by the first four graduating classes (1925, 1926, 1927, and 1928) to graduate from the Groveport School (now Groveport Elementary).

Speaking at the rededication ceremony, Groveport Madison Schools Superintendent Scott McKenzie stated, "Groveport Elementary School stands as a historical monument and landmark for the village of Groveport…and this fountain is especially unique because of its historical significance, and because it serves as a common space for the village.  And the students and parents who arrive to school each day receive the benefit of the aesthetic beauty of the fountain and the reminder of the students who came before them who worked to donate this fine structure."

McKenzie thanked the Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society for "its donation and foresight to restore and refurbish this beautiful fountain."

He also noted that Bill Bowman,  a supervisor of maintenance for Groveport Madison, donated his time and expertise to install the electric for the fountain’s lighting.

Also speaking at the rededication were Groveport Elementary Principal Mary Schroeder, Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society Secretary Carla Cramer, and myself.

What follows are my remarks I made at the ceremony:

"Time doesn’t go backwards, but forward. Nor does it stand still. Yet there are places  where for a moment one can linger, pausing to allow time to catch its breath as we connect with the past.

This fountain is such a place. Built around 1929, it was a gift to the school district from the first four graduating classes from Groveport School   – 1925, 1926, 1927, and 1928. For most of its 80 years, the fountain provided a gentle music as its flowing waters cascaded down its stone pillars. Its stones a symbol of sturdy strength and the foundation of knowledge; its waters a reminder of life itself and the journeys we all undertake as we flow through life. It reminds of us simple truths etched into the fountain’s stone to use as guideposts in life – ‘Know Thyself’ and ‘Knowledge is Power.’

The fountain is a stoney link in the linear chain connecting us to all who have passed through the halls of this school and through this community. For it is the public school that is the shared   experience of the people of a community. Though we are all different, the school is our common bond, the knowledge gained there the bedrock on which lives are built and the place where friendships form to fulfill the spirit.

So this fountain – restored to its former glory by the efforts of the Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society, Groveport Madison Local Schools, and Poseidon Pools – stands today to remind us of both the power of education and the spirit of those who have gone before us and those who will follow us.

We are all connected through this artful stone and water portal of time."

Rick Palsgrove is editor of the Southeast Messenger.

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