Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center
The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Intrepid Enterprises, Inc.
First impressions are important, and the new entrance to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Fla., creates the kind of lasting memory one would expect at this high-profile destination. As part of a 10-year plan to update and modernize the Visitor Complex, the $16-million entry project includes a grand plaza and fountain area, providing a spectacular interactive experience for its guests.
Designed by Freeport Fountains of Sanford, Fla., the 5,000-gallon fountain is lit in the evenings with LED lights programmed in sequence with 26 water jets. An audio of an actual NASA lift-off recording plays while the jets pulse to the blastoff sequence.
The fountain’s backdrop is a 75-foot-long radial-shaped trapezoid of granite standing 30 feet tall at its highest point. Granite’s permanence makes it an excellent choice to represent the U.S. space exploration program. Coldspring was selected to provide 875 square feet of Blue Pearl granite for the fountain. Freeport Fountains contacted Coldspring because of their experience working together on previous, successful projects.
Schedule was critical to meeting the deadline for the grand opening of the new Visitor Complex entrance. Coldspring was chosen for its ability to fabricate the radial facing, provide the desired laser etchings and meet the tight deadline. Having the Blue Pearl granite in block form on its premises was a key factor enabling Coldspring to meet the production schedule.
Coldspring’s Blue Pearl granite coordinates with NASA’s signature blue, and the polished finish provides an ideal surface for the laser etchings. The etchings include a portrait of President John F. Kennedy, for whom the center is named, and a quote from his 1962 “moon speech” at Rice University. During the fabrication stage, Coldspring brought value to the project in terms of schedule, shop drawings, an excellent fabrication record and its technological capabilities. Coldspring provided constant communication with the design team about what the project needed for an on-time completion. Completed in December of 2012, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s entry now greets its 1.5-million guests annually with an unforgettable experience. The fountain is a highlight of the Visitor Complex’s efforts to remain competitive with nearby theme parks in Orlando.