After years of waiting for funding and nearly a year of construction, Rolling Meadows families with younger children and those with a disability soon will get a chance to splash water without worrying about how deep the pool goes.
The Nelson Sports Complex Pool at 3900 Owl Drive will reveal its new splash pad at a grand opening on Saturday, June 15, starting with an 11 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. There will be free admission for the opening, and the event will end when the pool closes at 4 p.m.
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The opening originally was scheduled for June 8, but on Thursday was delayed due to rainy weather slowing finishing touches on the project.
The splash pad is aimed toward younger children and those with disability who want to play in the water, as the pad features a zero water depth.
"It's basically a water playground with no standing water," said Christine Capra, the marketing supervisor for the Rolling Meadows Park District.
The splash pad's floor has two drains to ensure that it doesn't collect water.
The new playground is for anyone looking to cool off and stay active, as it requires no special equipment for entry, making it accessible for people of all abilities.
"It adds another feature to our pool to accommodate our families," said Capra.
Piping comes out of the ground to spray water in the form of showers and water cannons. The water can also be controlled with the turn of a knob, pull of a lever or the push of a button, according to Tim Carter, the aquatics supervisor for the pool.
The splash pad also has a flexible, water-resistant, blue rubber floor.
"It's good for kids that don't know how to swim yet, and it's great for families," said Carter, "Everybody's welcome."
There are two separate areas, with one side for toddlers ages two to five, and the other for older children and families. The toddler side has smaller equipment, and the water cannons are not as powerful as those for the older users, according to Superintendent of Parks Brian McKenna.
The splash pad is gated, but has no age limit. There will be a lifeguard in attendance at all times. The splash pad will be open during public swim and will be available when the main pool is not.
"It will be open after the pool closes for the season in August through Labor Day," said Carter.
This is the first big change to the facility since the installation of the baby pool and water slide in 1987. To build this long-awaited addition, the park district applied for several grants.
Applications were sent out in 2009. After three years, the district won the grants in May of 2012.
The Rolling Meadows Park District used $341,000 of its own funding and received $423,500 in grants, according to Director of Parks and Recreation Amy Charlesworth.
The park district received $82,500 from the Cook County Development Block Grant and $341,000 from the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Program. The grants also were used to bring the locker room up to Americans with Disabilities Act code.
"The changes benefit not only the community, but the special needs community, too," said Capra.