Maintenance workers recently learned that chlorine tablets with high concentrations of calcium were causing closings due to at the Wolfe Park Pool. But had been caused by toddlers vomiting and going to the bathroom in the water. Parks & Recreation Dir. Frank Cooper is now considering a plan for a splash park to cut down on such accidents.
The splash park would be in the lawn area outside the fence by the deep end of the pool. When the town built a new pool two years ago, the kiddie pool was eliminated, but piping was installed in the grassy area to accommodate a splash park.
"The plan was always to have something over there," Cooper said Tuesday.
Rain Drop Products LLC, an Ashland, Ohio firm, designed a splash park proposal that is under review. There currently is no official cost estimate, but Cooper said his best guess is between $100,000 and $150,000.
The company calls it a "sprayground" and it would be a cement area with water shooting up from it. A YouTube video of the design proposed for Wolfe Park is included with this story.
A Safer Alternative
Cooper said Wolfe Park's pool is sloped, so children ages three and four walking from the low end can soon find themselves completely underwater at the four-foot mark.
"The majority of our water rescues take place in that area because it slopes down," he said. "All it takes is a little distraction and junior's in trouble."
A splash park offers a safer option, according to Cooper.
"With this you don't have to know how to swim, obviously," he said. "The kids just want to get wet and cool off and their parents want them to cool off in a safe environment. The threat of drowning and serious injury goes away."
Once solid cost estimates are in place, Cooper will present a plan to the town in hopes of funding a splash park that could open in time for next season.
"Given some of the issues we've had this summer, I don't think anyone would think it's a bad idea," he said. "I think people would agree it's a good thing for the kids, and that's what this is for."