By Dave Wiecher, vice president, Capri Pools & Aquatics
On any given day last summer interesting dynamics unfolded at the Cuba Missouri Municipal Pool and Splash Pad as children played in the spray area. They learned. They developed social skills and motor skills – all safely on a wet surface with water cascading from a colorful playground that fires the imagination. Meanwhile, parents were also free to play with their children and engage one another.
The city of Cuba, Missouri embraced a growing trend in parks and recreation water play by building a splash pad with a purpose. One that is a safe and fun playground of engagement that drenches the senses in water and is a welcome return of community enrichment stifled by the pandemic.
The Cuba splash pad is eye-catching 1,618-square-foot water playground to cool kids (and parents) off. Water flows from a colorful mushroom, a Mini FlashFlood that releases a suspenseful bucket full of water, two rotating hydrospheres, a WhirFlex mist sprayer, and ground spraying arch jets and a triple arch to create an arching water stream.
The thoughtful planning process and construction was eight months in the making. It began in the fall of 2020 as the city of Cuba engaged Capri Pools & Aquatics with a $242,210 budget to create the new amenity next to its municipal pool. The splash pad was to be built on the site of a kiddie pool. One of the first decisions was how to utilize the infrastructure in place to save on construction costs.
After thoroughly examining infrastructure needs and pricing materials, Capri determined that the water lines and filtration system could be repurposed to serve the splash pad. The lines were the right size and in good condition. By adapting them to a water playground, the city could save up to $35,000 on cost. In addition, the kiddie pool mushroom was reused for the splash pad.
The splash pad required 125 gallons of water a minute. That necessitated a new 3,000-gallon storage tank, but the aquatics market was struggling with pandemic-induced supply issues. Capri checked its vendors and came up with a 5,000-gallon storage tank without impacting the budget. It also had the advantage of giving Cuba the option of expanding the splash pad at a later date.
Delivering the splash pad to accommodate lower maintenance cost was also important. A broom-finish concrete surface mitigated slipping on tiny feet. It was also unpainted to allow more of the budget to be devoted to amenities by avoiding yearly repainting. Spray nozzles are easily unclogged and play features are easily replaceable without having to tear up the concrete.
The splash pad debuted on schedule in June 2021 and has been an enormous success for the city of Cuba. But more than just the numbers, the splash pad engages the senses of toddlers and young children in a number of ways. Tactile, balance, motor skills and play imagination are all stimulated with the drenching cool of water. And parents can delight in the fun of childhood themselves and engage one another in a relaxing colorful environment. Cuba definitely made a splash in 2021!