A last-minute contract change will conserve water but add a longer wait time for the splash pad at Maroney Park.

Funded through grants and donations secured through the Parks Advocacy League, construction on the 2,800-square-foot water feature named Splashadoches began in May at Maroney Park.

“Splashadoches will be open as soon as the kinks are worked out and kept open as long as it is warm enough to play in it,” Parks Advocacy League President Michelle Cox said.

A ribbon-cutting is planned for later in the fall, but a grand opening party has been postponed until next May, she said.

City Council on Sept. 3 approved a contract change that bumped the cost of the splash pad from $284,109 to nearly $354,000 to address concerns about water flow.

After realizing flow from the numerous water features would demand more gallons per minute than staff was comfortable with, Cox Contractors explored options such as programmable controllers and reducing the size and number of nozzles. Cox and city staff ultimately opted to switch what was originally planned as a pass-through water system to one that uses recirculating water.

“A recirculating system operates like a pool, requiring chemicals, filters and pumps and regular monitoring,” Community Services Director Brian Bray wrote in a memo to the council.

The upfront cost is more, he said, but benefits include higher flow rate for maximized water fun as well as 90 percent water savings.

“Ten percent of recirculating water evaporates or escapes drains while none of the water in a pass-through system is able to be reused,” city documents state.

Funds for the increased budget will come from the city’s parks improvement capital. The change in the system will add work time to the splash pad, with completion expected by the end of October, according to city documents.

Meanwhile, members of the Parks Advocacy League are continuing to raise funds to install a sail sunshade over the splash pad’s toddler area.

Splashadoches T-shirts will be available at the downtown Bright Visitor’s Center. The shirts are $20 each until Thursday and $25 until the sale ends at the end of the month, Cox said. The group is about $1,000 away from raising the $9,000 to install the shade.

Pavilions near the splash pad are being installed as a community service project of the Leadership Nacogdoches class.

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