Proposal for Water Playground Goes Before Rehabilitation Board of Appeals
A proposal for a splash pad at Grant Park is on the agenda at City Hall tonight.
A group of residents is hoping its idea for water recreation park in Royal Oak makes a splash with city officials tonight.
The Rehabilitation Board of Appeals will consider Volunteer Royal Oak’s proposal for a water playground — or so-called splash pad — at Grant Park.
The nonprofit group thinks its proposal for a play area with a rain deck, water cannons, water geysers and spraying nozzles will be buckets of fun for residents. The proposal already has the unanimous approval of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, which saw a presentation on the water playground in November.
“I saw the plan and I think it’s great,” said City Commissioner Mike Fournier, a member of the Parks and Recreation board. “It’s very family friendly.”
Royal Oak residents have been asking for some sort of aquatic center for years, Fournier said. “It’s a part of our Parks and Rec Master Plan,” he said.
The estimated price tag of a splash pad is $450,000-$550,000, including design and engineering fees, according to the proposal.
Fournier appreciates how Volunteer Royal Oak is thinking outside of the box. The splash pad would be paid for and maintained through federal grants, sponsorships and volunteer efforts.
“The important thing for everyone to understand is that we're trying to finance this whole thing through a Community Development Block Grant through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)," said Jay Dunstan, a member of Volunteer Royal Oak. “This project would not be possible otherwise, because frankly there are no Royal Oak monies available for anything like this.”
The grant money is available for urban development. “It’s important for residents to know this money is not available for public safety," Fournier said. "We are not trading cops for a splash pad.”
Wave of opinion
In a poll of Patch readers Friday, 90 percent of the respondents said yes to the idea of the splash pad while 5 percent said no and another 5 percent had no opinion.
On Facebook people had this to say:
- Dan Calabrese: Splash pads are fun, especially in a community with so many families.
- Sharon Markhoff: It's about time! Unfortunately my kids are older now, but there are so many families in Royal Oak that will enjoy this! Hope it really happens!
- Kristin Farlow Ryan: I said YEARS ago that Royal Oak should have a community pool in one of our dozens of parks. Even though this isn't a pool it is something.
- Gay Emily Thacker: Oh, please, please! Love the idea!
'Show up for the meeting'
“Since this became public, the reaction has been both positive and overwhelming,” said Dunstan, who will be making the presentation to the board on the behalf of Volunteer Royal Oak.
“I'm urging anybody who'd like to see this project move forward to show up for the meeting,” he said. “I knew this was a good proposition, but I wasn't prepared for the response. Apparently the wish for an aquatic facility, as expressed by residents in the Master Plan, needs to be taken very seriously.”
The Rehabilitation Board of Appeals meets at 7 tonight in Room 309 of City Hall.