PITTSBURG, Kan. — If everything goes according to plan, by next June local kids will have a new place to play and get a break from the summer heat.
Pittsburg Parks and Recreation Director Kim Vogel gave the city commission an update Tuesday on progress on the Schlanger Park Splashpad project, which will be replacing the wading pool at the park.
"We will be demolishing that pool," Vogel said. "Actually staff is starting next week on the demolition of the fencing and that pool that is there, and the site of the splashpad will be right there on top of the current pool."
The splashpad will include a variety of water features divided into "development," "discovery," and "adventure" zones.
"The adventure zones have the taller features that will have the water cascading down on them," Vogel said. "The development zones will have the smaller stones, the little smaller waterfalls where the smaller children can sit and play, and then the discovery zones will have the waterways and the interactive puddles that children can jump on that the harder you jump the taller it goes."
There will also be an interactive "water table" feature with three different levels and three arms coming off of it that will be able to accommodate several children at once who will be able to adjust the speed of the water flow.
The splashpad is expected to accommodate 60 or more children at a time altogether, Vogel said, and should be up and running by mid-May or early June — the same time as the Pittsburg Aquatic Center is set to reopen.
Funding for the project is coming from several sources. In January, the city commission approved an agreement for a 50-50 match grant from the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for the splashpad, which it was then estimated would cost $308,200.
The city has since received additional grants, including $5,000 from Sunflower Kiwanis and close to $45,000 from Live Well Crawford County.
"So we’re very excited to receive nearly $50,000 more on top of what we came to you originally with," Vogel told the commission Tuesday. "So with that we were able to add a few features and able to make a better facility that our circulation system will be in, so that will be now a concrete structure instead of what we originally proposed. So there were a few changes to the budget, but they were all covered with grant funding."
The final budget for the project is just under $344,000, Vogel said. A contract for construction of the splashpad was awarded in June to Sunscape Pool & Backyard, a division of Home Center Construction, Inc., of Pittsburg, and the company Waterplay will be providing the splashpad’s water features.