On Monday, October 3, right at the Singing Fountain in the park between the cathedral and the theater, the Mayor of Košice Jaroslav Polaček, the President of U. S. Steel Košice and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the USSK Foundation James Bruno, the General Director of the State Theater in Košice Andrej Šoth and the Director of the Municipal Greenery Administration Marta Popriková signed a cooperation agreement guaranteeing financial coverage for the reconstruction and modernization of the Singing Fountain. "The construction of the fountain was possible thanks to the cooperation of the city and the steelworks almost 40 years ago. Today, we have agreed that this cooperation continues. Each of our employees will certainly be proud of the city center and I wish you to enjoy the fountain for the next 40 years," said U. S. Steel Košice President James Bruno.
One of the most striking landmarks of Košice needs a general technical overhaul after years of operation. Currently, a state of emergency is declared on the fountain, and only its most necessary components are in operation. Of the 160 spotlights, only 109 are lit, and of the 25 pumps, only 6 are operational, therefore water splashes only in a limited mode. The new project envisages an investment with a total value of 1,406,000 euros excluding VAT, of which 1 million will be paid by the U. S. Steel Košice Foundation and the rest by the city of Košice. The repair and modernization will be carried out by the Municipal Greenery Administration, and the Singing Fountain will receive new pumps, lighting, wiring, sound system and lighting. Thanks to digital technologies and technical connection with the State Theatre, it will be possible to transmit in real time the sound and image from performances in the theater directly to the water mist and thus make them accessible to visitors in the park.
"Today's technology is already morally and technically outdated and needs change. We are glad that the U. S. Steel Košice Foundation feels responsible for this gem of our city and will contribute a significant share to the repair and modernization of the Singing Fountain. The people of Košice deserve that this landmark continues to give joy to people in a new, more modern design and that we all know that meeting at the Fountain on the Main Street will always be worth it," said the mayor of the city, Jaroslav Polaček.
Since its launch in 1986, Košice's Singing Fountain has become an extremely popular tourist attraction and at the same time a favorite of local Košice residents. It is predetermined for this not only by the strategic location between the State Theater and the Cathedral of St. Elizabeth, but also by its technical specification – dynamic water nozzles and lighting that respond to the tones of music. It thus became the first ever singing fountain in the former Czechoslovakia, becoming the inspiration for the construction of other singing fountains in Prešov and later in Prague. The then mayor of the city, Rudolf Schuster, was behind its creation in Košice, and experts from the East Slovak ironworks played a large part in the successful technical implementation.
Photo: Miroslav Vacula