The splash pad at Millennium Park is expected to be in working order next summer for the enjoyment of young children, but park officials said it’s not too early to consider a plan for replacing the 15-year-old equipment.
The splash pad, a fountain designed like a rainbow that gives off sprays of water and bubbles up from the pad itself, sits at Millennium Park, 18600 Harwood, on the border of Homewood and Flossmoor. The splash pad is fenced for safety and monitored by a park district staff member.
At a Homewood-Flossmoor Park District committee meeting Tuesday, commissioners reviewed an end-of-the-year report on the splash pad from Doug Boehm, superintendent of parks and planning.
“People love it!” Commissioner Sue Bertram said. “And Millennium is a wonderful park with great features. Right by the splash pad is play equipment, and you have a shelter there,” she added.
Commissioner Steve Johnson agreed, saying the splash pad “is a valuable asset to the community.”
Commissioners asked Boehm to start investigating new splash pad models and costs. A newer model could be in the range of $100,000 to $140,000.
Commissioners know the expected life of the splash pad is 15 years, and the H-F equipment is at that threshold, but they hope having spent money on repairs may mean an additional year or two or three for the splash pad.
An unfortunate set of circumstances in a four week timeframe this past summer, including two pump failures and an electrical power surge, forced the district to spend $10,000 on repairs on the splash pad. Boehm said the routine maintenance usually is about $2,000 or less.
Weather permitting, the fountain will be painted for next season and Boehm believes because of the repairs this year, the splash pad infrastructure should be in good shape, depending on the severity of the coming winter which may cause problems for the underground pipes.