by Dennis Dalman
It’s bye-bye wading pool, hello splash pad.
At its May 13 meeting, the Sartell City Council decided on plans for a variety of Watab Park improvements, among them a splash pad instead of the wading pool, which will be removed after so many summers of happy use. Instead, a splash pad will be created at the site in the park.
The original plans for at least two years had been to renovate the wading pool, but a study revealed the renovation cost of the aging pool would be more than twice the original estimate or a total of $410,000 for a new pool with add-on features. At a previous meeting, the council decided that amount was prohibitively expensive.
At the May 13 council meeting, two presenters updated the Watab Park improvements, which include a new playground, restroom facilities, the splash pad and resurfacing of the tennis courts. One court will be repurposed into a pickle ball court, one remaining a tennis court and the third for half-court basketball.
The total cost of all the amenities is $427,000, with about $140,000 of that coming from a grant from the Department of Natural Resources.
Nate Keller of Sartell’s planning department revealed the winning design for the playground, based on the results of input from 1,200 Sartell residents. Public input will be sought for the specific play features of the splash pad.
Nick Nowacki, a pool consultant with Reengineered Inc. also presented information to the council regarding the splash pad. The playground will cost about $100,000, and construction could begin as early as this coming fall.