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Oakwood splash pad could open soon
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Oakwood's new splash pad is under construction in City Park downtown. The attraction will replace the longtime pool, which needed major repairs at the site. - photo by Jeff Gill

Oakwood’s new splash pad could be open this summer.

There is “no definitive date as of this moment,” City Manager B.R. White said Wednesday, June 10.

Construction is well underway on the attraction, which would feature water spraying from a deck into the air.

Oakwood City Council approved a contract Monday, June 8, with SwimAtlanta Pool Management to provide an attendant who will maintain the attraction and monitor water quality, but who “has no responsibility for safety,” according to the contract.

The splash pad, which has a $230,000 construction budget, is in Oakwood City Park, which is off Railroad Street in the downtown area.

It replaces the city’s longtime community pool, which had operated during the summer for years. At one time, the city contracted with Georgia Mountains YMCA to run it. The pool also has operated under private management.

The pool’s future became an issue in 2019. Facing a renovation possibly costing $80,000, city officials wondered whether continued expensive upkeep was worth reopening the pool in summer 2020.

The pool “does not pay its way,” former City Manager Stan Brown said last year.

The city received $35,000 in revenues for 2017 and 2018 combined, while the expenses overall for those two years was $81,000.

A splash pad could be more costly upfront but likely much cheaper in the long run when calculating costs of operations, lifeguards and chemicals, Public Works Director Jason Spencer has said.

“The water usage would probably stay the same, but the chemical usage … and the power consumption would drop dramatically,” he said. “The pumps and the chemicals are running 24/7.”

Brown said he believes the splash pad “will be a good step” for Oakwood.

“It’ll be something a little different than what we’ve had before,” he said. “It won’t require the lifeguard presence we’ve had at the pool, so it’s more cost-effective. And I think it will be a good thing for the kids.”

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