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With 12 elements, including a scoop-like feature which collects water and then sends it showering downward, the splash pad at Chaloner Recreation Center is operational.

“We are working with the contractors and working very diligently to trying to have a partial opening by the July 4 weekend which would include the splash pad and the playground equipment,” Roanoke Rapids Parks and Recreation Director John Simeon said today.

Simeon said the partial opening is contingent on the weather and safety of the site. “I applaud our local contractor Rightmyer Machine Rentals for their efforts in trying to reach the July 4 date.”

Simeon said he is pleased with the final results of the splash pad and the playground equipment. “We will need to make some adjustments to the splash pad as kids play and give us their feedback.”

The splash pad and playground are just part of the improvements coming to the recreation center after the city received grant funding from Kate B. Reynolds and the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. There will be new multisport courts for tennis and basketball, a paved walking trail and parking lot improvements.

The project also includes picnic shelters by the playground and splash pad.

The project is expected to change the scope of the park. “What we envision these changes will bring is an opportunity for young children and older adults to have an opportunity for several different recreational experiences,” Simeon said. “This includes an aquatic feature, playground equipment, adult fitness equipment and a walking and exercise trail and two shelters for picnic opportunities.”

The elements for the splash pad include above ground spraying features as well as ground level features and the one which douses a large amount of water from the scoop mechanism.

The project came about after the city discovered there were no grant funds available to repair the former swimming pool at the center.

With pool repairs at the time estimated at $600,000, the combination of grants and a match of $50,000 from the city meant $400,000 was available for the project.