More than 250 parents, toddlers, kids and teens showed up for the grand celebration featuring “live” DJ music, freshly popped kettlecorn, grilled hot dogs, refreshing beverages, and giveaways of helium-filled balloons and small towels to use for drying off.
Ward 6 City Councilman Warren Taylor did the honors of cutting the ribbon, which opened the spray pad area to everyone in attendance. Kids of all ages and sizes could be heard screaming with delight as they started running through the water spouts created by 30 different spray heads mounted in the ground. The new textured, skid-resistant surface made it easier for kids to run back and forth in their bare feet without falling.
This new concrete surface was just one of many improvements made to the Sprayground recently. Due to the harsh winter of 2010, pipes underneath the spray pad froze and broke which caused the City to close the facility for repairs. Hazelwood hired Midwest Pool and Court Company as the general contractor to fix the problems. Other enhancements made to the Sprayground include the following: upgrades to all facets of the spray pad including the mechanical equipment, pipes underneath, spray heads, and fencing.
In some respects, these improvements have made it better and safer than it was before. “One of the things we did was to install a 24/7 automated Chemtrol system which regulates the chlorine and PH to ensure proper chemical balance and sanitation,” said Mike Hampton of Midwest Pool and Court Company. “This system definitely out performs the first one that was installed.”
Another new addition that makes the Musick Park Sprayground stand out from the rest is the use of multi-colored lighting that is UL listed for interactive play. “Hazelwood’s sprayground is the first of its kind in the St. Louis region to use this type of lighting, which makes it safe for children to play in the water while the lights are on. Most water fountains use UL lighting at night for beautification purposes, but they can pose a safety risk if someone puts a hand or foot in them,” said Doug Littlefield, Hazelwood Parks and Recreation supervisor.
Littlefield points out that Midwest Pool went to great lengths to find a company that offered this child-safety feature for the lighting. They found one named Crystal Fountains in Canada. “I invited Ward 6 Councilman Warren Taylor, who represents the area where the Sprayground is located, to go with me over to Midwest Pool and see a preview of these lights in the showroom. We were both amazed with the brilliance and clarity of the colors shining off the water and believe this will make the facility a ‘must-see’ attraction for residents at night.”
The colors used at night for the lighting will be green, blue, red, yellow and purple. They will continually dissolve from one color to the next every few seconds. All the water sprays will show the same hues as the colors are cycled through the system.
“I can just imagine how fantastic these lights will be as they shine off the shooting water with a time-intermitted system,” said Ward 6 City Councilman Warren Taylor. “It will definitely add to the ambience of the park at night and encourage residents to use this city park more often.”
The Musick Park Sprayground will be available for use from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on a daily basis. It is programmed to provide users with 30-minute intervals of crisp, refreshing water to play in once the “on” switch has been activated.