Students give new tech to old fountain

Grand Valley State University engineering students created and set up a new mechanical system for a 50-year-old musical fountain in Grand Haven. Terry Stevens, GVSU engineering professor, was contacted by the city of Grand Haven to update the structure, as he did 30 years ago. Stevens decided to include the input of students from his manufacturing controls class this summer. Students worked in groups to come up with designs for a new control system. One group’s design was chosen, with some changes based on the other designs, and was installed last month. The new system includes a touch screen control instead of the old push buttons, as well as timers that will keep track of how many shows the fountain has played. Stevens and his students will work throughout the school year to debug the system. The fountain has been performing music and choreographed water spouting routines nightly and on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day every year since 1963.