The stakes were high for Bryan Thompson as he watched the industrial drill sink slowly into the marine grade stainless steel bowl.
The 8-foot diameter concave bowl will serve as the tray of an Aquasphere fountain that cost $20,000 and was custom-made in England by internationally-known sculptor and landscape artist Allison Armour. So on Thursday, Thompson knew there was no room for mistakes.
The fountain will soon be the centerpiece of a significant landscape expansion at Nunnally House in Brunswick.
“I was laying awake at night, because we needed approximately a 2.75-inch hole drilled into the really high-grade steel, without damaging this mirror finish,” said Thompson, development coordinator at Nunnally House.
He’d made several calls around the community and had been unable to find anyone who could complete the work. Then he reached out to PaR Systems, Inc., headquartered in Brunswick.
Thompson said PaR not only had the tools needed for the job, but also agreed to do it for free.
“(PaR Systems) just jumped on this,” he said.
So on Thursday, Thompson stood with a group of PaR employees, watching as the magnetic drill cut a precise hole in the base of the fountain’s tray.
The hole took 45 minutes to complete, but by the time PAR’s workers were finished, Thompson said they had made sure it was perfect.
“This will be the tray of the centerpiece of the fountain, and sitting in the center of this will be a two foot diameter clear acrylic sphere that the water will flow out of and down the sides and into that tray,” Thompson said.
The fountain is designed to be self-contained and recirculate water through the sphere and tray, but Thompson said their modified design has the water cascading over the sides of the tray into a retention pool.
Once the fountain is set up, it will be stunning, he said.
“We need it to cascade equally off all sides into the retention pool, so we get the fallen water sound … and the sphere itself reflects everything around it — treees, sky, all of that,” he said. “It’s really gorgeous.”
The Southeast Georgia Health System Foundation recently received a donation for a patio expansion at the Nunnally House, a lodging facility offering a home for patients who have cancer or family members of critical care patients.
“We’ve been very fortunate that Hugh Nunnally and his family donated basically Nunnally House — the building, the 40 rooms, the furnishings, everything,” Thompson said. “And we’ve been fortunate that Mike and Lucia Gumaer from Sea Island have basically adopted the exterior.”
The Gumaers have donated a 10,000-square foot patio addition and expansion, he said, along with all the landscaping outside the center.
Thompson said the fountain will now be just as Nunnally House envisioned, thanks to PaR’s help and the Gumaers’ donation.
“This community and the cooperation between people is fantastic,” he said.