Splash pad replaces baby pool at Fleetwood Pool

Patriot photo by Lisa Mitchell Elayna Wetherhold, 4; Fleetwood Highway Supervisor Robert Weidner; Public Works Director Greg Ebeling; Fleetwood Borough Park and Recreation Chair Suzan Wetherhold sit in the new splash pad at Fleetwood Community Pool.

Fleetwood Borough installed a new splash pad at Fleetwood Community Pool, replacing the old baby pool.

It seems to be the up and coming thing in most swimming pools, said Fleetwood Public Works Director Greg Ebeling. When we decided to go ahead with the splash pad and Borough Council decided that was the move to make, we all commented the fact that the moms would probably like the splash pad as much as the children. That was part of the input to why we did it.

For moms it is a very cooling off experience, its a sprinkler system as opposed to standing water in a baby pool. This is much more sanitary and much less liability and much more refreshing, said Suzan Wetherhold, chair of Fleetwood Borough Park and Recreation. We have dumping buckets, squirting alligators, spraying flowers. Whats not fun about that?

I think its really fun, said her daughter Elayna Wetherhold, 4, Fleetwood, who had the opportunity to briefly play on the splash pad on May 9 prior to pool opening for the season May 24. I like standing in front of (the alligator) because its nose squirts out.

Wetherhold explained that the baby pool needed to be replaced, which was estimated to cost $300,000. Fleetwoods new pool management company, USA Pools, suggested replacing the baby pool with a splash pad.

It was a fraction of the price, said Wetherhold.

The Fleetwood Borough funded project cost $50,000 to purchase and install the splash pad.

We were able to find some money in our budget because we were spending so much on water and patching of the baby pool, said Wetherhold.

She said they determined that they would spend just about as much to install a new splash pad as they would spend on leaking water and patching the old baby pool.

This was our solution, said Wetherhold. Its a great alternative to baby pools.

Talking about the leaks in the old baby pool, Ebeling said, We were loosing a considerable amount of water on a regular basis. The maintenance was becoming a burden. This will be a much better situation for people to enjoy and the work force to take care of.

Ebeling said Fleetwood Borough will also see savings on chemical use, water use and less maintenance.

Ebeling and Robert Weidner, Highway Supervisor, were instrumental in facilitating and coordinating the work with My Splash Pad during the installation. Weidner worked day to day with the company.

Its going to be cleaner, said Weidner about the new splash pad.

Water flows out of the sprinklers (such as the flower, hydrant and alligator) onto the cement deck back to a UV filtration system and comes out of the jets.

Itll be a constant flow system, said Ebeling, as opposed to a baby pool that needs to be cleaned and standing water that needs to be replaced periodically.

Weidner and Ebeling both believe the splash pad will be something children and their parents will enjoy.

Wetherhold said there are few splash pads in the general region so they hope it attracts people from different communities, not just the Fleetwood area.

Fleetwood officials are now looking at their next pool project for 2015. A feasibility study conducted for the borough recommended a $300,000 stainless steel gutter system for the pool be installed. Fleetwood has applied for a grant with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to partially fund the project. Wetherhold said they are seeking any community groups that want to help.

We really need a fairy godmother to come and fund this project because this winter was significantly hard on our coping around the edge of the pool. Were going to try to fix it as much as we can but its in very bad disrepair right now, said Wetherhold.

Fleetwood Community Pool is now under management of USA Pools. For pool memberships, call 877-248-1872 ext. 0. Deadline for discounted memberships is May 15.

About the Author

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at lmitchell@berksmontnews.com or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.