Discussion of splash pad installment results in approval.

 A public meeting was held to discuss the placement of a splash pad at Briscoe Boy Scout/Rotary Park.

“Hopefully this will be open in time for the kids to play on it this summer,” said Shawnee Director of Operations James Bryce, who headed up the meeting held at the Shawnee Expo Center.

The group of citizens and city officials present at the meeting unanimously supported the placement of a splash pad at the chosen park.

Bryce said there were two reasons for holding the meeting Thursday night.

“For one is to get your input and two, it’s a requirement for the grant that we’re going to fill out to acquire 50 percent of the funds to build this,” he said.

The Land and Water Conservation grant, if awarded to the project, will pay for half of the expected $350,000 needed to complete the splash pad, sidewalk work and restroom addition.

“We should have a pretty good shot at it,” said Mayor Wes Mainord.

Along with the splash pad, other additions are planned for the project.

“What the project is going to entail is a splash pad that’s accessible by anybody, a revamping or brand new restrooms to bring them up to ADA accessibility for the splash pad,” he said, adding there will also be work done to the sidewalks.

One issue discussed at the meeting was security issues with the new project, such as lighting and supervision.

“It is an unsupervised splash pad,” Bryce said, adding parents would be responsible for the supervision of their children.

Bryce said additional lighting would be put in where needed.

Commissioner Linda Agee asked if there was plenty of parking at the park.

“The parking will probably become an issue at some point,” Bryce said, adding that is something they will consider at a later date.

The location for the splash pad was chosen based on the demographics of the area, which revealed there were several kids in the area that would have access to the splash pad.

“I think that park would be an ideal location,” said Gary Jenkins.

Bryce said they felt that area was an area with a whole bunch of kids in that community that would benefit from it being in that location.

“I think that’s the most active of the parks other than KidSpace,” Jenkins said.

Ray Mullen Sr. said he and his wife have lived across from the park for the last 19 years and have watched it grow into a nice, family park.

“As far as I’m concerned it would just be another asset to the whole area down there,” he said. “We feel lucky to live across from it.”

Because the meeting was only held to discuss the placement of the splash pad, the splash pad has not been designed yet but John Ayers, who has also helped with the design of the Municipal Pool, said they have some ideas and are eager to begin designing.

Bryce said although the appearance of the splash pad has not been designed, the mechanics of how the splash pad will work has been decided.

Bryce said the system will be on during the day but will be shut down at a certain time at night. When the system is running, the water will turn on once a button is activated. The water will run for a certain amount of time and will need to be re-activated so water isn’t wasted.