With about two weeks left of summer break, kids in North Augusta have a new way to cool off.
The Riverview Park splash pad opened Friday morning. The water was turned on right as the ribbon was cut and dozens of kids splashed around – and splashed each other.
“I believe this is one time I can say that when we decided to put this in that everybody agreed that this was a priority and we wanted to do it,” said City Council member and Mayor Pro Tem David McGhee.
“I don’t believe there’s anybody that had any opposition so we’re excited about using it,” he said.
This is the city’s second splash pad. The other is located at Summerfield Park.
McGhee said the project was done using leftover funds from a Capital Projects Sales Tax.
“I remember coaching out here many years and thinking to myself ‘Boy, I would really love to run and get in some water,’” McGhee said, adding that, along with kids, coaches and parents would enjoy the splash pad, too.
Rick Meyer, director of the city’s parks, recreation and tourism department, said usually a parks and recreation director has to fight for funding for projects but that he didn’t have to fight for this one.
“Council was fighting me to hurry up and get it built, and that’s a great thing. You see all these beautiful kids out here, your children, this is what this is all about; and this is why we’re here,” he said.
Meyer thanked City Council, parks and recreation staff, Great Southern Recreation and other city staff for work on the splash pad.
The splash pad is finished and open for use, but more features are coming. McGhee said a shade feature over part of the splash pad with an area for parents to sit will be added.
City Administrator Todd Glover said during the ribbon cutting that the project is more than just a splash pad; it’s an investment in the community.
“This is about investment in our children and our families here in North Augusta,” he said.
“We really are known for two things here, public safety and recreation, and if you feel safe with your family, and you have places to go and recreate with your family, then you have a quality of life, and that’s what we think we have here in North Augusta that’s second to none.”
Splash pad hours are 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. It will close for the year toward the end of September.