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Project tracker: Volunteers making beauty from concrete in Edgerton

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Frank Schultz
May 27, 2014

What is it: Volunteers are building the future Pottery Plaza in front of Edgerton City Hall, corner of Albion and Fulton Streets.

What it's for: The plaza will make City Hall more inviting, and it will honor the work of famed Edgerton pottery artist Pauline Jacobus.

Highly regarded Pauline Pottery made in the late 1800s was sold at outlets that included Tiffany's in New York City and Marshall Fields in Chicago.

Who's working: Labor for the project, including site preparation, plumbing, concrete work and landscaping, will be donated, said Edgerton dentist Mark Irgens, who helped recruit volunteers.

The city paid $23,000 to a landscape design company to design the plaza, said City Administrator Ramona Flanigan.

The value of the volunteered labor and donations for materials has been put at about $150,000.

Irgens said the concrete workers on Saturday easily represented 250 years of experience. They were from different companies, but they worked together well, he added.

“The quality of the finish was just superb. It looks excellent,” Irgens said.

Irgens said he was on an organizing committee where the idea of using volunteers came up.

“I thought we could potentially recruit people to do the concrete work on a volunteer basis. I contacted a few people, they recruited a few of their friends, and they came up to bat for us big time,” Irgens said.

Next steps: Another paved surface, with pavers, will be constructed this week, with a concrete pour on the weekend, Flanigan said.

After that, landscaping and some masonry columns will be installed. Electrical work remains to be completed.

Design change: The plaza's centerpiece is different from the metal sculpture that was envisioned last year. Instead, the sculpture will be a grouping of granite sculptures in the shape of Pauline Pottery pots.

The Edgerton Rotary Club, one of the project donors, also will supply labor for landscaping, Flanigan said.

Completion: No date has been set, as the project relies on volunteers' schedules. Work could be done by mid-July, Flanigan said.

Donations needed: Irgens said money still is needed to pay for piping and sprinkler heads for an irrigation system.

Quote: “It's just a great thing, and it's one of the things that makes Edgerton the great place that it is.” —Irgens



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