In the 1970s, Muskegon’s public gathering site Federal Square went away with the development of the Muskegon Mall. When that closed in the early 2000s and redevelopment began on the entire downtown Muskegon, it only made sense that a former public gathering site be revitalized to further attract people to the budding downtown.
A splash pad was proposed at the site (now called Alcoa Celebration Square) because it was a way to attract a younger –and the young at heart- crowd in a fun, relaxing, social environment while being close to downtown and other excitement.
F&V provided the designs and master plans for the splash pad, with construction plans on an aggressive three-month schedule at the City’s request. The splash pad was designed with several sustainable methods, including recirculating water. It creates “white noise barriers” to surrounding noise pollution as well as natural air filters and conditioners.
Art played a large role in the design development, framing the entire square, and downtown Muskegon was becoming known as an art hub. F&V designed geometric concrete blocks for people to lounge on. The outer perimeter of the square is landscaped with native perennials to reduce water usage, as well as deciduous trees that provide shade for the plaza and reduce the heat island effect. SPZ Corp., a local company, donated and moved the James Clover “Sculpture with Stars” piece from the company’s former Muskegon headquarters. The sculpture now dominates the southern portion of this area.