layton's new splash pad has 'cutting edge' water features

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 12:12 PM

Bryon Saxton

LAYTON — The new $395,000 Layton city splash pad — with “cutting edge” water features — is on schedule to open June 29 as part of a Hawaiian luau celebration.

The 11 a.m. grand opening will include door prizes, beach balls and Hawaiian leis for the children.

The 4,000-square-foot splash pad in Ellison Park, 700 N. 2200 West, is free to the public.

The splash pad is unique to the Wasatch Front in that it incorporates an elevated play structure featuring interactive water spray features, dumping buckets and water spinners.

“(Layton) is the first entity in the state to have a (splash pad with a) slide activity center,” said Holli Adams, project architect with Architectural Nexus of Salt Lake City.

In addition, the Layton splash pad features a water recycling and filtration system that is both economical and sensitive to water use, Adams said.

Prior to constructing the pad, Layton Parks and Recreation officials surveyed other splash pads along the Wasatch Front and determined to set its project apart from what other municipalities offer by providing elevated splash pad toys, Parks and Recreation Director Dave Price said.

“It allows kids to step up into the spray environment,” Price said.

The structure also includes a large, wide slide that can accommodate up to two or three children at a time, he said.

“We wanted to provide a little bit different play environment,” Price said.

Waterplay, out of Kelowna, British Columbia, with regional representation in Salt Lake City through PlaySpace Designs, manufactured the toys for the city water feature.

“This has elevated steps, with sprays on the step,” said Diana Ross, owner of PlaySpace Designs.

The pad also features interactive dueling water cannons that sporadically spray, and a huge dumping ball with an adjustable deflector plate, which can be used to change up the flow of the falling water to keep the children guessing, Ross said.

“The toys are interactive, keeping it fresh,” Ross said.

Other reasons splash pads are so popular are that they offer a free cooling-off amenity from the summer heat and they give users an unstructured water environment in which to have fun.

“What I have found is that you can’t make them big enough,” Ross said.

But despite the crowds that will squeeze onto the pad, Price said, he does not envision the splash pad reducing the number of patrons who use the city’s wave pool.

“They are two separate things,” Price said.

Surf N’ Swim has the novelty of the waves, while the splash pad is similar to a “high-tech sprinkler” situated in a public place, he said.

“There are a lot of people who struggle to be able to bring their families to Surf N’ Swim. This (pad) will be an amenity they will be able to bring their family to for free,” Price said.

The city paid for the project with a portion of its general funds from the past two fiscal budget years.

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