EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was shared through permission from the North End Community Improvement Collaborative.
MANSFIELD -- The North End will soon have some aquatic fun to partake in come late summer 2021.
The City of Mansfield plans to install Splash Pads at North Lake and Johns Parks.
“I think the opportunity to put splash pads at North Lake and Johns represents an opportunity to provide a service to an underserved area of the city,” said Mark Abrams, Manager of the City of Mansfield Parks and Recreation Department. “A lot of kids who live in those areas don’t have access to transportation to get to the public pool at Liberty (Park), so this will give them the opportunity to participate in some aquatic activities where they might not have been able to.”
Abrams said the splash pads will be located in the two parks which are both located in residential areas and within walking distance to those who live in the neighborhood.
“It’s an opportunity for them to experience something that they haven’t had the chance to do (in a long while),” Abrams said, mentioning the closure of North End Ford Hill pool in the early 2000s and the pool at North Lake Park in the late 1990s.
Abrams said the city hopes to break ground for the splash pads within a month or so, depending on the contractor’s schedule.
“We’re waiting for the final numbers back from the company on the installation and a start date,” he said. “So, I’m hoping it will be this summer.”
Before concrete can be poured, Abrams said the city needs to install a two-inch water line at each location so that the Splash Pad can run from it.
The reason the splash pads will be able to be installed is because of the generous support of the Richland County Foundation. The total cost for the aquatic fun on the North End will be $168,000.
“The project will be funded by three funds at the Foundation,” said Brady Groves, President of the Richland County Foundation, “the Community Fund, the Robert and Esther Black Family Foundation and the Fran and Warren Rupp Fund.”
Groves said he and Abrams worked together for two months to bring the project to fruition, “though, installing splash pads in city parks has been a topic of discussion for quite some time.”
Mansfield City Council members recently approved the donation from the Foundation.
The splash pads are not extremely fancy but will be built to last, Abrams said. They are pretty much composed of a concrete slab with six to eight nozzles that will shoot out water for 20 minutes or so when a button is pushed.
“Honestly, this is a good opportunity for those two parks,” Abrams expressed. “It’s something that has been discussed for years.”