Tuesday, March 8, 2016

South Amherst Spray Park

Ancient wading pool will become a new spray park

The Groff Park $1 million renovation project -- including the first spray park in town, an additional handicapped accessible pavilion and new playground equipment -- is half way home after last night's Community Preservation Act Committee voted to recommend to Town Meeting the $550,000 in funding after they whittled it down a bit from $600,000.

 New playground equipment will be part of phase 2

CPAC Member Jim Brissette gave an impassioned defense of the proposal pointing out how it was really a Social Justice issue.  The town does more than any other surrounding town to encourage and attract low income housing but doesn't do nearly as much for the children who inevitably result from that type of housing.

For many residents of the apartment complexes along East Hadley Road, Groff Park is one of their very few -- possibly only -- options to cool off in the summer.

 Assistant Town Mgr Dave Ziomek presenting to CPAC.  Chair Mary Streeter (left)

Assistant Town Manager Dave Ziomek said that amount ($550K) would guarantee construction/renovation of the new spray park to replace the 60 year old wading pool, improved handicapped accessible walkways and a new roof on the old pavilion.
Roof probably should have been replaced a long time ago
 Old but still functional equipment near river will remain

The town will apply for a PARC grant to try to secure the second half of the financing although the CPA vote for the $550,000 was not contingent on grant approval.

So either way, BIG improvements coming to our little park.  


Anonymous said...

Does the roof leak? Then why?

Anonymous said...

Town Common could use a little help as well.

Larry Kelley said...

Yep. That too was approved. (North Common).

Tom Porter said...

Am I the only person in town who doesn't know how to picture what the 'spray park' will be? Very difficult to get a sense of what's actually going to be built, even after reading the 26p proposal, other than that it will 'provide endless hours of fun' and will serve 'environmental justice populations.'

Is it safe to assume a spray park is a place where one can get wet but cannot actually 'get in the water,' thus reducing cost for insurance premiums or for employing a lifeguard?

Larry Kelley said...


Kind of like opening fire hydrants in the middle of an inner city heat wave, only far more efficient with the water.

Anonymous said...

"m I the only person in town who doesn't know how to picture what the 'spray park' will be?"

That's what they created Google images for. Search "spray park" and all your questions will be answered.

Anonymous said...

Kind of like that Larry, efficient with water so we don't have to be efficient with taken money? Makes no sense, perfect for rich Amherst.

Would be cheaper just to bring in some inner city kids and a couple of wrenches for some seminars with the less educated local kids that don't know how to get hosed on their own.

Larry Kelley said...

Fire Department is not overly fond of the practice.

Tom Porter said...

Anon 11:27, Thanks for the tip. I checked out the images of spray parks and they really do look like endless hours of fun. Although not, really all that different than the fountain fixture that used to sit right in the center of the wading pool. In any case, this "Google Images" is amazing. What will they think of next?

Larry, I'm pretty sure the wading pool is less than 60 years old. Maybe just under 50.