Village moves forward on new water splash pad park for American Legion property

children play on a splash pad in the water fountains
Children play in a water splash pad park similar to what the Village of Stillwater is pursuing for next summer at the American Legion property.

The village is moving forward with plans to add a water splash pad to the park facilities on the American Legion grounds so it can be completed for use by next summer.

The Board of Trustees Tuesday (Oct. 16) approved a resolution to pay a $1,500 deposit to Clear Water Pools of Greenwich to get on the company’s construction schedule for the spring. Clear Water has quoted the village $33,600 to build the 30-foot round splash pad adjacent to the old basketball courts on the legion land as part of a grander plan to refurbish the entire park area there.

Trustee and Deputy Mayor Judith Wood-Shaw, who had been researching the splash pad idea for months, said she couldn’t find another local contractor that does this type of work. Clear Water Pools installed a splash pad at Gannon Park in the Village of Greenwich and has experience in municipal installations and a “good reputation,” she said. There are national contractors the village could hire but their water pad projects are larger and more expensive.

“Ours is little and we want to keep it simple,” Wood-Shaw said. “I say stay local. I think it would be a nice addition to the village and we want to keep our residents in Stillwater.”

The deposit was approved pending completion of a contract with Clear Water Pools. The splash pad is an alternative to a swimming pool and would be open to the public during warm weather months. Unlike a swimming pool, it would be more cost effective because it requires minimal maintenance, no chemicals and no need for a lifeguard because there is no standing water.

The splash pad would be made of poured concrete and feature 24 water jets shooting water upwards from the ground as children run through it to cool off. It would also include a 4-foot surrounding concrete walkway pad (surrounding the splash pad area) and a timer to shut the water off when not in use.

Village leaders have been exploring this and other ideas for upgrading the downtown park area with the vision of creating an active hub of outdoor recreation for Stillwater children and families. The land is owned by the legion but the village oversees the recreational facilities.

Recently, the village secured a $50,000 state grant to help renovate the basketball courts and bring in Project Backboard, a venture they hope to also complete by the spring. Plans are also being discussed to add a pickle ball court and improve the small playground already there. A special village parks and recreation committee is overseeing the renovations.