As the summer swim seasons draws to a close and backpacks are stuffed for the start of school, plans continue to move forward for the Splash Pad project in Bethel Park.

Created by the municipality to provide an enhanced recreational opportunity for residents as well as visitors from the South Hills and surrounding areas, Splash Pad is a concrete pad with water features that folks can run through and play. It will be located along Park Avenue behind the athletic field near the back of the parking lot, between the community center and historical society.

While the municipality has received two grants for the project, they are awaiting confirmation regarding additional money needed to fund the approximate $3.4 million project.

“We are in a waiting mode,” said BP municipal manager Laurence J. Christian during a recent quarterly coffee chat session with residents.

“The documents are prepared, but we are waiting on the state to provide some confirmation for grant approval. We won’t move forward until we get confirmation that we have received the money, but council has given the project a thumbs-up.”

Community businesses, groups and individual residents have given Splash Pad approval, too. They are currently fundraising to offset additional project costs and rising construction prices.

During the annual Rev ‘Em Up car cruise event being held Sept. 4 in South Park, the municipality is conducting a basket raffle. Anyone can donate gift baskets with business goods or specific-themed baskets.

During Bethel Park Community Day set for Sept. 24, a scavenger hunt will kick off. Residents will have one month to complete a series of tasks around the municipality.

Additionally, there will be a Mystery Treasure Chest filled with donations from local proprietors. Residents can buy raffle tickets to enter. The winner will be drawn on community day.

“We have had some very cool fund-raising ideas, and we are well over $3,000 for the raffles that we would love somebody to win,” said municipal planner Kirsten Primm.

“People are really getting excited about (Splash Pad),” she added.

Municipality employees were thrilled to inform concerned citizens that they had visited neighboring communities, and assured them about the safety and viability of the project.

Because Splash Pad is adjacent to busy South Park Road, authorities are working with the state Department of Transportation regarding possible placement of new crosswalks. Plans are also in the works for a separate parking lot and entrance to the facility.

“We did our research,” said Stacey Graf, director of engineering.

She noted BP officials visited Pine Township, which also has a Splash Pad.

Graf added that BP’s Splash Pad will be fenced. An attendant will be on duty during the day, when there may be separate sessions: for example, a morning session for toddlers and afternoon for older children.

There will also be a large building on site to accommodate bathroom needs.

“There will be running, working toilets,” she assured the audience.

“We know there will be issues, but this will be a benefit to the community,” she added of Splash Pad.

Admission will be charged to enter the area, but no fees have been established yet. The facility will also be available to rent for parties and special events.

To get involved in fund-raising efforts or to donate items for the treasure chest or raffles contact 412-831-6800, extension 104, or email: kprimm@bethelpark.net/.

Almanac Sports Editor

An award-winning journalist, Eleanor Bailey has been employed by Observer Publishing Company since 1982. She is the sports editor at The Almanac and a contributor for the Observer-Reporter.

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