Next summer the Columbus Square will have a new attraction thanks to donations from two local families.
Discovery Park located on the South East corner of the Columbus Square will have a new “Splash Pad” feature is somewhat of a mini water park. The center feature of the park is currently a gazebo.
Councilmember Jan Houser announced that a donation of $150,000 by Jay and Rhonda Hatfield along with Jan and Wes Houser would pay for the water feature in the downtown park. The park will also be outfitted with public restrooms.
A splash pad or spray pool is a recreation area, installed in the park for water play that has little or no standing water. This is said to eliminate the need for lifeguards or other supervision, as there is little risk of drowning.
Though few specifics were revealed about the feature itself typically there are ground nozzles that spray water upwards out of the splash pad’s rain deck. There may also be other water features such as a rainbow (semicircular pipe shower), or mushroom- or tree-shaped showers.
Councilmembers were given a proposed drawing of the feature but were told if the restrooms were moved outside the park area into the parking area on the southside of the park the Splash Pad could be enlarged changing the number of features included.
Typically, the water is either freshwater, or recycled and treated water, that is typically treated to at least the same level of quality as swimming pool water standards. These splash pads are often surfaced in textured non-slip concrete or in crumb rubber.
The city council approved accepting the donations and the attraction being installed in the park.
In making the announcement at Tuesday evenings meeting Councilmember Houser also said a fund raising drive would begin to pay for a fence on two sides of the park.
Councilmember Houser has, as Park Committee chairperson, has guided the Parks Committee through a resurgence of additions and improvements in every park in the city.
She has been able to garner unanimous support from her fellow council members and mayor Grant Spieth in agreeing to the park improvements.
In addition to the announcement of the splash pad, Reeves Park on the East side of town now has a fully functional wheels park, including bicycle and skating features and improved tennis and pickle ball courts. The basketball courts have been rehabilitated and several of the park buildings have been improved.
Lions Park, near Mercy Hospital, with the water standpipe, has had the pavilion improved and made handicap accessible, new exercise features and swing sets have been added.
In the city park, a new 18-hole Disc Golf course has stretched the park into the fairgrounds area making the area useable year around. New playground equipment and grills have also been added.
Most of the costs for all the park projects have been funded by donations or within the park budgets over the past two years.