The contract that is expected to bring a community splash pad to Washington Court House residents was recently signed.
A splash pad is a recreation area for water play that has little or no standing water. The resolution that authorizes Washington C.H. City Manager Joe Denen to sign the contract with Vortex USA in order to purchase the splash pad was passed by city council on Thursday.
The splash pad authorization was a resolution and therefore had to pass two readings—it passed its first reading on Wednesday at the regular city council meeting, and the council held a special meeting on Thursday so the project could pass a second reading.
The current proposal for the splash pad would have it located off Eyman Park Drive close to Lakeview Avenue and the bike path near the location of the old city pool, which closed several years ago. Denen explained it is planned to be in front of the small shelter house.
The estimated total cost of the project is $125,000, according to Washington C.H. Service Director Ron Sockman. The Fayette County Park District allocated $25,000 toward the project.
The splash pad will be owned and maintained by the city with low maintenance required, and all equipment having warranties.
The system being used for the water will give a continuous fresh supply from the city’s water plant. Once used, the water will be collected in a six-inch sanitary and go the the Waste Water Treatment Plant. It will not be a recirculating system as those tend to be more costly and require more upkeep, according to officials.
Sockman explained the cost for recirculating water would have increased the overall cost as they would have had to consider the Environmental Protection Agency, water testing, staff to take care of water samples, etc.
Fayette County Park District board member Dan Stahl said, “I thought it was really good that this is going to work differently than water systems in some of the other municipalities. A lot of them have recirculating systems which in some cases takes a lot of chlorine. Despite all human efforts, sometimes bacteria grows and can be harmful.”
Stahl explained that those filtration costs were “one of the things that kind of put the nail in the coffin for the pool.”
The plumbing and electric capability was already on-site from the old pool, which provides a way to save on cost and is why the splash pad is being located in the same area.
Plans include an area for younger children, teenagers and families. There will be handicap-accessibility, although the exact location for it has not been determined.
The splash pad will be free to use. It is open to the public and will therefore not be available to rent privately.
Stahl explained, “We (the park district) have been throwing around the idea for the last year of doing a splash pad. Then here comes Ron on behalf of the city. The city funds the park district in part and our ideas are often run back through the city.”
“There’s been a community group with very nice volunteers that have approached this before about the whole grand scheme being a water complex,” Stahl said. “It’s just we need to take baby steps as a park district. Angie started the idea.”
Angie Mellott, another Park District board member, explained she and a couple others had been to meetings for the water complex idea. The larger project would have been costly and required a great amount of fundraising.
“Ron [Sockman] has been the heavy-lifter on this specific project,” Stahl said.
Sockman explained that the park district and council had been talking about the splash pad and the city budgeted the money to build it. “We can’t do it without either one of these two working together.”
According to Sockman, Vortex believes the project will be completed by mid-August.
Follow the Record-Herald for future updates regarding the splash pad and its construction.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.