Children vote for what they would like to see in Shawnee
- Shawnee Early Childhood Center students voted overwhelming to include a splash pad in the downtown revitalization.
Shawnee Early Childhood Center students voted overwhelming to include a splash pad in the downtown revitalization.
“This is a great indication of where Shawnee needs to grow and expand for the youth,” librarian Sunny Saunders said.
Saunders and other teachers took part in a project to help educate students and receive their feedback about different downtown projects, including the OU revitalization project.
Of the more than 500 students polled, 363 voted to add a splash pad. Two other options were included – 78 voted for outdoor dining and 68 voted for street performers.
Marta Land, chairwoman of the Greater Shawnee Area Chamber of Commerce, worked with Shawnee Public Schools Superintendent Marc Moore on the project.
“I really felt like involving our schools was important,” she said.
Land said she believes it is important to consider what children would like to see in downtown, as well as adults.
“These kindergarteners aren’t tomorrow or the next day, but in ten years they will be,” she said.
However, adding a splash pad would hold a two-fold purpose, Land said. Parents go where children want to go, she said.
“Because we like to make our kids happy,” Land said. “Parents go where kids want to be, and kids want to be where there’s life.”
“Even though our kids may not completely understand, they know what they want,” she added.
Shawnee Mayor Wes Mainord said he believed children’s ideas should be counted.
“Those are the kids that are going to be using it,” Mainord said.
“I think we’re definitely going to have a splash pad,” he added.
Mainord said he would like to see two splash pads, one by the pool and another in a different location.