Mayor says more improvements on the way
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
With little fanfare but much anticipation, Atmore’s splash pad reopened Monday, June 18, with something of a new look.
The playground’s picnic pavilion now has a concrete floor; there is a sidewalk from the parking lot next to the Boy Scouts hut to the picnic pavilion, and another sidewalk that will eventually lead to an adjacent playground.
“She’s open and running,” said Mayor Jim Staff, who admitted there was some minor grumbling during last week’s closure of the new recreational facility but said most people understood that the additions will make the park a nicer place for their children to play. “I haven’t seen anybody who didn’t like [the splash pad], and most of the people I talked to were OK with [the closing]. A few might not have liked it, but we did what we had to do.”
The renovations were a secondary issue for the adults who watched as their offspring straddled the front of the park’s train engine or sprang from station to station on Monday. Their main concern is that the facility is again open after the week of rain and renovations.
“I’m glad to see it back open,” said Macey Eicher as her 5-year-old son Preston frolicked in the water. “He goes to the [Atmore Area] YMCA for summer camp, and they’re going to start coming every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But it was supposed to start last week, so … Anyway, we live right down the road from here, and this is a good way to let him run off some of his energy.”
Eicher said she was pleased that the sidewalks and flooring had been added.
“I’m glad see the new concrete work,” she said. “It’s really muddy out there around [the area where the work was done].”
Carolyn Dailey of Monroeville drove to Atmore so that her grandson, almost-3-year-old Zaiden, and her god-nephew, Jace, who will be 5 in July, could enjoy the new splash pad. The older boy did enjoy the experience, but the younger one wanted no part of the cold water that soaked the other youngsters.
“This is the first time we’ve been to this one,” Dailey said as her grandson continuously approached the spraying water, then turned and ran back to her side when he felt the first drops. “We don’t have anything like this in Monroeville, so we came down. If we don’t come here, we go to Brewton.”
Staff said the second sidewalk poured last week will lead to the site of new playground equipment that will be installed adjacent to the splash pad. He said other renovations are coming, none of which should disrupt the park’s operating hours.
“We’ve got some trees coming, and I believe we got a grant from Auburn that will allow us to put playground equipment out there,” he announced. “That, and we’ve still got to pave the parking lot [on the Craig Street side of the splash pad]. But I don’t think we’ll have to close it again. Everything has been done that had to be done while it was closed.”
The splash pad is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. each day. There is no admission charge, but each child must be accompanied and supervised by an adult.
News photo by Don Fletcher