By Jennie Zeitler, Correspondent
After five years of anticipation, fundraisers and a few construction delays, the Royalton Splash Pad is open and ready to offer cool summer fun for children.
While the splash pad opens for the first time Sunday, June 29, at 11 a.m., a grand opening will be held Saturday, July 12, at 10 a.m. The property will be officially transferred to the city of Royalton at that time. It is located at 1014 Platte Wood Drive. It can be accessed by turning east on Platte Wood Drive from North Birch Street, or by turning west on North Walnut Street from North Evergreen Street.
A committee worked diligently from the first idea of a splash pad in 2009. Committee members are: Bev Albright, Jennifer Bailey, Denny Cekalla, Pam Cimenski, Russ Gerads, Jerry Goedderz, Curt Gregory, Dusty Hauber, Angie Sahr, Amy Schoenrock, Tanna Stucky and Brenda Weiss-Pesta.
“A splash pad and park was one of the ideas formed with community input, facilitated by the Initiative Foundation,” said Committee Co-chair Weiss-Pesta. “The project was kicked off with the first donation in May 2010.”
A total of $161,000 has been raised by the committee over the four-year period. The figure includes all grants, individual and business donations. Roach Development donated the lot for the park, part of its development agreement with the city. The Royalton Lions Club has donated many hours of labor in addition to in-kind donations.
Lions Club member and Committee Co-Chair Goedderz pointed out that no city tax dollars went into the construction of the park.
“We used $25,000 from a city park fund that had been given by a different developer, but those were not tax dollars,” he said.
The total cost of the project is $275,000.
The entire Splash Park includes not only the splash pad but a restroom building, a shelter with kitchen and a playground.
The splash pad has 15 water features which cycle through in turn. There are three cycles every 15 minutes. The pad itself is activated by gently pushing on a black foot pad near the edge of the area. It automatically shuts off after 15 minutes but can be restarted by pushing on the foot pad.
“There is no extra chlorine added to the water,” said Goedderz. “The water from the pad drains under the roadway to a catch basin along a row of Norway pine trees.”
Goedderz described the efforts made to make the splash pad as maintenance-free as possible.
“Everything is controlled electronically – from the splash pad water to the rest-room door locks,” he said. “The lights in the restrooms are motion-activated. We wanted to save the city the cost of having to maintain things.”
An in-ground sprinkler system will keep the park looking good. Sod has been laid around the splash pad and restroom building, while the rest of the park has been seeded. Once the grass has been established, the Lions Club will be putting up swings, a merry-go-‘round and a tether ball. The club hopes to also add picnic tables and barbecue grills.
Donations are still being accepted for finishing touches to the project.
“There are not enough words to say thank you to the committee and all the people who have worked and provided funds for the project,” said Mayor Andrea Lauer.
The Royalton Splash Park will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. The shelter building can be reserved through the city. For more information, call Royalton city offices at (320) 584-5900.