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With children splashing in a new water fountain, and a host of performers entertaining for a more-than-expected crowd, Cannery Square Plaza was officially dedicated Friday afternoon.

Construction on the 12,000-square-foot plaza, located adjacent to Sherwood City Hall, began last June.

The project included two-toned herringbone brickwork along with granite stonework, metal benches, a small grass area and a stage.

However, the most obvious attraction Friday was the unique water feature that enthralled scores of youngsters who stomped on the individual water jets (there's 20 in all) as water stair-stepped down a three-tiered waterfall. For the kids playing with the jets, it didn't take them long to figure out that covering one jet would make another one go higher.

Behind the choreographed water programming was Daniel Weiss, project manager for Taurus Power and Controls of Tualatin, who said the new fountain can be programmed to create a specific show with multiple acts. That means setting the jets, which shoot out about 5 feet, to move in a predetermined sequence.

On Friday, he set a 'jet to trough transition' program that allowed the jets to momentarily shut off so that a waterfall of water could surge to a shallow pool below.

Weiss said if the trough speed was set full throttle, 2,500 gallons of water per minute would flow across the tiers. The water recirculates through the system and automatic equipment adds chlorine and keeps pH levels to state standards.

If the system detects that it's not filtering up to par, the fountain automatically shuts off, he said.

'This thing runs 100 percent by itself,' said Weiss.

Capstone Partners LLC was the developer of the $1.7 million plaza, which is owned by the city of Sherwood.

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