The Harrodsburg City Commission listened to a proposal to build a splash pad at Young’s Park.
Bryan Noel of DWA Recreation told the commission it could cost as much as $110,000 to build a splash pad and playground at Young’s Park.
Noel is a Mercer County native. He said he’s been working on the project for three years, originally with Mayor Art Freeman. He showed the commission initial drawings of the 21 foot by 26 foot splash pad. Noel said it would not a recirculating system. Instead, water would run straight through from the city, which he said would be cheaper and easier than recycling water. Activated by the user, the water would turn off after three minutes.
“It won’t be running constantly,” said Noel. “You can set it for how long you want it to run.”
He estimated the splash pad would use approximately 4,000 gallons per month. Due to the the design, no winterization would be necessary, he said.
“You can literally run it until it starts getting cold outside,” Noel said. “It’s easy maintenance.”
He said the contractors would tie everything into the water system and the city would do all the concrete.
“You can make the pad as big as you want it,” Noel said.
DWA Recreation has installed splash pads and playground equipment in Louisville, the University of the Cumberlands, Covington, Morehead and Simpsonville, according to their website. Noel said the splash pad would cost $73,895 not including concrete and another $40,070 for the small playground with equipment for children aged 2-12.
It cost over $80,000 to build the original playground at Young’s Park, which was one of the biggest volunteer projects since Harrodsburg’s bicentennial in 1974.
Noel said they could get the installation done pretty quickly.
“We should shoot for maybe the end of June or so,” Noel said.
Mercer County residents were caught off guard by the city’s decision to tear down the playground at Young’s Park in August. Officials said they had received complaints about the playground equipment being in bad shape. After a safety inspection, it was recommended the city take the equipment down.
While city officials have maintained all along they intended to rebuild the playground on Linden Avenue, the demolition shocked many in Harrodsburg and across Mercer County. The wooden playground was built by volunteers from the community over five days in October 1993, with as many as 300 people working together in the rain on Sunday, Oct. 17, to finish it, according to the Danville Advocate-Messenger.
But even the playground’s biggest boosters admitted it had lasted beyond its life expectancy.
If approved, Noel said the new equipment would mostly be aluminum. He said there is equipment out there over 30 years old.
“It’s not huge,” Noel said. He said the city could add equipment over time.
Noel said it could take up to 10 weeks to have everything manufactured. Said installation could begin as soon as the equipment is manufactured.
“You could probably have everything done when it gets warm again,” he said.
Commissioner Jennifer Kazimer wondered if the equipment featured in the initial drawings would be enough to entertain older children. Kazimer said older kids spend more time on the playground and cool off at the splash pad.
Noel said there are low cost options to expand the playground if the commission is interested.
After the old playground was demolished in August, a splash pad was, by far, the most popular proposed replacement. No action was taken on the proposal.