Thomas Jefferson High School Historical Preservation Society
 

Student Council Fountain Project

Fundraising Update - 1/9/2016

SAISD Bond

Thu, March 29, 2012

At the moment, the Student Council Fountain Project is on hold due to the SAISD Bond. We are in contact with the various contractors who have been assigned to complete work at Jefferson High School.

Phase 1B: Finish Revealing the Hidden Feature

Sun, October 24, 2010

A second "digging" by board members and some tremendous effort by Jefferson's groundskeeping staff revealed the entire outer hexagon of the fountain.

With the fountain fully revealed, it was possible for an expert to assess the condition of the structure, make educated guesses at drainage, water supply, and electrical access. Both he and Susan Toomey Frost, author ofColors On Clay and 1958 Jefferson graduate, also assessed the condition of the fountain tiles. John is scheduled to give a preliminary report to the TJHS HPS at its annual meeting on April 8, 2010 in the Jefferson SUB.

Phase 1a: Architectural, Logistical, Financial Study

Date

"The project is feasible ..."

So began the e-mail from a San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) official in answer to Board member and former Thomas Jefferson Principal, Sam Hogue's inquiry concerning the restoration of the fountain in the Student Council patio, aka, "the fish pond." The e-mail goes on to enumerate a number of milestones that must be reached to attain the goal of eventual architectural and functional restoration of the once-prominent feature on the Jefferson campus.

Preliminary List of Project Requirements

Ford, Powell, and Carson (architectural firm) was mentioned as a company that has done several projects at Jefferson and who have researched and are familiar with the historical features on the campus.

The processes for funding, the role the TJHS HHPS, and carrying out the project were also detailed in the e-mail:

  • Funds to hire an architectural firm, if one is not presently supporting the Board with its services, are to be included in the budget.
  • Funds to meet the full project budget are to be donated by the TJHS Historical Preservation Society to the SAISD Foundation for Excellence in Education with the stated purpose of carrying out this project.
  • The donated funds and specifications/design documents developed by the architectural firm are to be used to bid the project and hire a licensed and qualified contractor to complete the project.
  • All work requires proper city permit(s) and inspection(s), as well as the review and approval of the Historic Preservation Office.

Documentation of Obscured Architectural Features

This pencil-sketch-effect photo (photo originally appeared in the 1938 Monticello) is from the February 9, 2000, Volume 70, Number 2, Declaration, showing the fountain in its original configuration of two concentric hexagons.

    Stylized photo of original fountain

    The outer hexagon contained a pond with walls lined in deep blue tiles (below) in which lived brightly colored fish.

    Colorful tiles inside the fountain

    The inner hexagon, a fountain, has a pattern of brightly colored tiles inside, top, and outside of the walls (below).

    Colorful outside tiles

    The photo below shows the fountain's current state as a shrubbery garden (taken May 2009).

    Fountain as a shrubbery garden 

    Bond Money?

    It was intimated that money from a recent bond election may be used to work on the fountain, so all efforts were put on hold. If the fountain became a project to be handled by the district, TJHSHPS' involvement would end. This was all contingent on the funds being available, and, as it turned out, the funds did not materialize.

    Project Fundraising

    TJHSHPS put forth plans for a fundraising effort that is in the process of being review for what the Society hope is approval. The project, yet unnamed, is a personalized memory/honor brick area that will surround the flagpole. Funds from this effort will be earmarked for the fountain project.

    What's Next?

    The original project was interrupted by the bond money situation at the stage when an architect was being sought to plan and bid the restoration of the fountain. With the hopes of public funds gone, it is now time to get the project back on track.

    At one time, some figures in the $100,000 range (unsubstantiated) were mentioned for the fountain project, so fundraising is a very big part of what has to be done. In addition to the brick project, the Society is looking into other methods of raising the required funds, such as grants.

    What Can YOU do?

    If there is anyone out there in the Jefferson community who can help the Society find an architect experience in this kind of restoration work or knows of funding sources, please contact TJHSHPS.

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      Thomas Jefferson High School Historical Preservation Society, PO Box 5567, San Antonio, TX 78201-0557

      Non-Profit IRS Designation 501(c)3 Organization

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