The City of Puyallup recorded 3,000 children and 2,500 adults who enjoyed the wading pool at Pioneer Park during a seven-week period last summer.
Now the parks, recreation and senior advisory board would like the pool to be replaced with a modernized splash pad.
“(The wading pool) doesn’t meet current requirements set by the health department,” said Sarah Harris, parks and recreation administrator. “It’s an old system. Because it doesn’t have proper circulation, to keep the water fresh, we have to drain it and refill it with fresh water every hour and a half.”
Harris said the health department has worked with the city because the decades-old wading pool is so popular and well-used.
But the advisory board wants a change.
As part of a project to replace the playground equipment at Pioneer Park, the advisory board has recommended to the city council to allocate funding in the 2014 Capital Improvement Projects budget for the design and installation of a splash pad.
“The amount we are going to ask council for is $550,000, and that would be the splash pad and replacement of the current playground equipment in Pioneer Park,” Harris said. “We would work with a design team to come up with a design and a best location.”
The plan will be presented during next Tuesday’s council meeting, Harris said.
If the council approves the recommendation, a request for proposals would be issued. Once a design architect firm is selected, the advisory board would go before the council for it to be approved.
Jeff Moss, advisory board chairman, said the wading pool at Pioneer Park is no longer viable.
“We think the splash pad will provide a great service to the city,” he said. “Vendors are coming back with an estimate of six to 12 months to get it designed and installed and have it for next season.
“We have a window of opportunity,” he said. “I hope it goes to council this summer so we can get the design done and construction done in the offseason with the hope to have it operational by summer 2014.”
Harris said the city spends $6,000 to staff the wading pool during the summer and an additional $7,000 and $8,000 on water and sewer for the pool. The type of splash pad the advisory board is interested in is a potable to surface irrigation model.
“A tank is stored underground and water drains into that, and then it’s treated to irrigate the park,” Harris said. “We’re reusing the water to irrigate the park so that it’s not just going to the sewer.”
Since the splash pads would be set on a timer, staffing would not be needed, Harris said.
Moss said he and his children enjoy utilizing the wading pool when it’s available.
“The opportunity to use it has been limited,” he said. “It’s always been closed or being drained. The splash pad will eliminate those issues.”
If You Go
The wading pool at Pioneer Park will be open six days a week through Aug. 24. It will be open from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and from 1:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.