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An updated graphic showing the latest design for Stratford's splash pad, provided by Openspace Solutions Inc. and Waterplay Solutions Corp.

Splash pad design revealed

Jeff Heuchert editor@stratfordgazette.com

The City of Stratford has awarded the contract for the design, supply, and installation of a splash pad in Anne Hathaway Park.

Cash for Splash fundraising committee chair, Mike Doupe, says the equipment should be delivered in April and installed by the end of May. A few more weeks will be needed after that to complete landscaping and other site features ahead of its planned June opening.

“Our hope is that by the time the kids are out of school they’ve got a spot to go,” Doupe says.

The project was awarded to Openspace Solutions Inc., whose bid of $141,640 came in approximately $9,000 under the fundraising committee’s budget. The Waterloo-based company was one of three that submitted a costing after the city issued a request for proposals back in November.

The city has earmarked $100,000 in its 2014 Community Services budget for the design, equipment, and installation, while the balance of the work will come from the Cash for Splash campaign.

Last week, committee members and city officials met with Openspace to review the design and layout for the splash pad and and discuss colours options. A few minor tweaks are being made.

“We were quite pleased with the plan presented,” Doupe says, noting the splash pad design will be available on the Cash for Splash website as well as its Facebook page.

At 4,000 square feet, Doupe says he has been told by Openspace the splash pad is quite large for a city of Stratford’s size.

“There will be plenty of space for everyone who wants to use it,” Doupe adds, noting the structure will include water features divided into three areas – one for toddlers, a family area in the middle, and space for older children.

“That was part of our mandate for the request for proposals, to maintain three separate areas so all age levels can enjoy it,” he adds.

The work being undertaken by Openspace represents a little over one-third of the overall project cost of $375,000. Servicing on the site and the washroom building were started before the snow started falling but still need completing.

The committee is roughly $5,000 away from reaching its public fundraising target. Doupe credits a big portion of that success to the Stratford and Area Builders’ Association, whose in-kind contributions greatly reduced the project’s dependence on public funds.

“What their efforts have been able to do as part of the overall (cost) estimate … it is quite considerable,” Doupe adds.

He also praises the Rotary Club of Festival City, which early on pledged $25,000 and provided oversight for the fundraising campaign through its charitable foundation.

Doupe says having the public’s money held by the foundation added an important element of credibility to the project.

“Knowing that the donations were being held by the foundation was so important for transparency,” he adds.

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