ROCK HILL, S.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – It’s a staple in Downtown Rock Hill that continues to give back to the community in more ways than most people realize. Fountain Park and the 50,000 gallon water feature opened in 2014 and continues to drive the economy, bringing new businesses and even hotels to the area.
You can’t drive by it without looking at it or stopping to take in the sights and sounds.
“When the grand kids come to town they want to come to Fountain Park,” said Supervisor of the Rock Hill Parks Division, Rhea Faris.
The park paved the way for a new neighborhood, which includes Fountain Park Place. Right now it’s a 48,000 square foot office building with room for retail and restaurants, future plans also call for a 100 room hotel on the east side of the building facing the park.
More than a year and a half of construction turned a municipal parking lot into a city park that is now known for making memories.
“When my mother was alive she was in her early 90s and she loved to come here. We would come at night and park the car on Main Street and she would want to stay for the entire hour show,” said Faris.
The show changes every 112 seconds using 143 different nozzles.
“And the center jet actually goes about 100 feet in the air,” said Faris.
That jet alone pushes out 1,000 gallons of water. Keeping the operation flowing happens in an underground vault which is only accessible by a few city employees. Huge generators are hidden behind bushes, as it takes a lot of electricity to operate a 50,000 gallon fountain.
“It is actually 16 fountain pumps that generate about 300 horsepower and then there are 3 pumps that work with water quality and filtering,” said Faris.
Similar to a pool the fountain is cleaned weekly and drained 4 times a year. The water is always clear, but you won’t find any chlorine used.
“The harsh chemicals you use at the pool would just destroy the nozzles,” said Faris.
During the cleaning process Faris says normal things are found like leaves, sticks and other debris. People often throw coins into the fountain, which are cleaned out weekly.
The coins and money collected are donated to the Rock Hill School District to support a program that packs meals and snacks in backpacks for students who need them on weekends or when school is not in session.