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REEDSPORT — A staple of Reedsport and Lions Park is getting new life, thanks to members of the Reedsport Lions Club and community volunteers.

For over a generation a lion's head water fountain sat in Lions Park, serving to hydrate park visitors as well as being a landmark and something for kids to climb on. Recently, however, community members have noticed the statue missing from the park, though it briefly returned during the National Night Out, Tuesday August 6; fear not, though, for the fountain will return after undergoing a restoration, including being smoothed over, undergoing repairs and getting a new coat of paint.

Jim Wells is spearheading the project with Cory Parks doing the sanding and fiberglass work, Kit Christiansen doing the painting, and Joe Savvy restoring the plumbing. The fountain was originally installed in the 1950s as part of the Lions Club's project on the park. Wells said the fountain has received some abuse over the years, but has weathered the storm of time and is still in good condition. While the fountain is not ADA compliant, it's historic nature, and the presence of an additional ADA-compliant fountain, mean it can be returned without issue.

The restoration project began approximately three weeks ago. Wells said they hope to complete it in a month, but will play the time frame by ear since most of the crew working on it have full time jobs.

"We hope to have it done within a month, is what we're shooting for" Wells said. "However long it takes."

Parks said he's only put about 20 hours of work into the lion and predicts closer to 50 by the time he finishes. He said he's preparing the head to receive a new coat of paint and it's delicate work.

"It's just mainly trying to keep all the material that we can, and where some of the material's missing ... adding material, then smoothing it off again," Parks said. "I'm trying to think of the fact that my son's going to be sitting on it as well, and I don't want it to crumble."

The finished fountain will be installed in concrete and secured with steel supports; it will be fully functional, though still not ADA compliant. Wells said they've had good initial feedback about the project from the community.

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Reporter Adam Robertson can be reached at 541-297-3590, or by email at adam.robertson@theworldlink.com.

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