The splash pad at
Chesterton Park, not yet due to open until Memorial Day weekend, may remain
closed beyond that.
Blame last week’s
4.5 inches of rain, which super-saturated the ground and, through extreme
hydrostatic pressure, forced the sunken vault containing the splash pad’s
operational systems--pumps and filters, among other things--up and out of
the ground, shearing the pipes below the vault right off.
So Town Engineer
Mark O’Dell reported at the Park Board’s meeting Tuesday night.
indefinitely,” O’Dell told the board, refusing to speculate when repairs
might be made. “I don’t have a time frame.”
At the moment,
O’Dell and Associate Town Attorney Connor Nolan are working to contact the
manufacturer of the splash pad, Splash Zone of Mesa, Ariz., and the
installer, Rain Deck, to discuss warranty issues. The splash pad--which has
proved an enormously popular attraction during the summer months at
Chesterton Park--was installed in 2017 and financed through a $2-million
bond issued late in 2015. Purchase price: $104,686. Installation price:
O’Dell told the
board that he’s interested specifically in knowing whether Splash Zone has
seen any of its products similarly impacted by heavy rain.
O’Dell noted that
it’s too soon to say whether the vault’s electrical components were also
damaged, but added that the town has filed an insurance claim on the damage
Folks who have
already reserved a shelter at Chesterton Park with a particular eye to using
the splash pad may contact the Park Department at 926-3000 for a refund of
their deposit. Or they can apply that deposit to a different shelter.
In other business,
O’Dell reported that rehab work on Waskom Park--located on Michael Drive--is
on hold until the weather breaks.
The last big item
in the punch list: the re-surfacing of the new basketball and tennis courts.
“It just needs to stop raining,” O’Dell said.
The work on Kipper
Park, on the other hand--located on Olivia Court in the Westchester South
subdivision--is 90 to 95 percent complete, O’Dell said. Some broken bricks
have been replaced and curbs smoothed, but there’s still planting left to
Both Waskom and
Kipper remain closed until all rehab work is done.
Assistant Superintendent Shane Griffin updated the board on the Park
Department’s recent activities:
--All restrooms in
the town’s parks are “now open and in good shape.” The boxcar restroom in
Thomas Centennial Park--equipped with time locks--is open from 6 a.m. to 8
--Most of the early
spring mowing has been done, although “the rain put us behind,” Griffin
--The soccer fields
at Dogwood Park have been fertilized.
--The brickwork at
Thomas Park has been completed and Griffin said that he’s hopeful the new
fountain will be installed late this month.
--New trees have
been planted at the baseball field at Chesterton Park, as a Rebuilding
Together Duneland project.
--And the Park
Department is beginning to receive shelter reservations.