Chesterton Tribune



Splash pad closed indefinitely, damaged in last weeks rains

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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.

“It’s closed 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: $195,770.

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 as well.

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 do.

Both Waskom and Kipper remain closed until all rehab work is done.

Assistant Super’s Report

Meanwhile, 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 p.m.

--Most of the early spring mowing has been done, although “the rain put us behind,” Griffin admitted.

--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.


Posted 5/9/2019




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