Chesterton Tribune



New park splash pad could open on July 4

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Kids are clamoring for a go at the new splash pad at Chesterton Park, but it’ll still be a month before the facility is ready to open.

As Park Superintendent Bruce Mathias told the Park Board at its meeting Tuesday night, right now he’s shooting for a July 4 opening.

Work on the splash pad itself has been completed--and benches and picnic tables are being installed as quickly as the Park Department takes delivery of them--but the issue actually is the new turf. It’s still coming in and until a good growth of grass has filled in the dirt around the pad, the kids need to stay off it or risk clogging the drains and pipes with mud.

Park Administrator Hilary Thomas-Peterson noted that she’s been fielding scads of phone calls and Facebook messages from folks eager to give the splash pad a try. In just the few minutes it took to run a recent test of the pad’s systems, Thomas-Peterson said, half a dozen kids in swim suits and towels appeared from nowhere, and she was sorry to have to tell them it wasn’t ready yet.

The splash pad features six main interchangeable attractions, including a four-bucket tilt, a three-bucket tilt, an arch, an umbrella, and 30 separate jets with a variety of sprays. A pair of aqua chairs will also be available for the use of disabled children.

The splash pad’s purchase price: $104,686. The cost of installation: $195,770. The project is being financed with a $2-million bond issued late in 2015.

Playground Equipment

Kids will also need to wait a bit before taking a crack at the new playground equipment at Dogwood, Chesterton, and Olde Towne parks. Again, installation of the equipment has been completed, but fall-protection turf hasn’t yet been installed.

Which presented members with a bit of a quandary on Tuesday. As Town Engineer Mark O’Dell explained, fall-protection technology has evolved considerably--new anti-static models are now available--but it comes at a considerable expense: between $17 and $20 per square yard. Total estimated cost of installing it at all three new playgrounds: $250,000.

On top of that, the soonest the turf could be specced out, put out for bid, and then put in the ground would be sometime this fall, O’Dell said. And that would mean an entire summer season of play would be lost.

So members opted to go with a stop-gap measure: buy a sufficient quantity of crushed mulch instead for $3,000 and spread that beneath the equipment right now--O’Dell noted that the mulch is fully up to code--and then re-assess the feasibility of anti-static turf in the fall.

“I think we need to get the mulch down and the playgrounds open,” Member Candy Tucker said.

The three playgrounds’ purchase price: $242,906. The cost of installation: $82,000.

Dogwood Restroom

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to solicit quotes from at least three qualified firms for the concrete foundation of the new restroom at Dogwood Parks. Those quotes will be opened at a special meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 15.

The estimated cost of the foundation: $25,000.

The restroom itself has been purchased, at a cost of $131,140, from Concrete Modular Systems Inc. of St. Petersburg, Fla., which will be performing the installation itself.

The old restroom won’t be demolished and removed until the new one has been installed and is fully operational.


Posted 6/8/2017





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