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City breaks ground for new splash pad

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Local officials turn over shovels full of dirt in a groundbreaking ceremony Monday afternoon for the Carpenter Park splash pad, the beginnings of which can be seen in the background. From left are Jim Burress, City of Roswell special services and parks director; City Manager Joe Neeb; City Councilors Barry Foster, Judy Stubbs and Jason Perry; State Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell; Mayor Dennis Kintigh; and City Councilor Jeanine Best. (Juno Ogle Photo)

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On a cold, windy afternoon, the city of Roswell officially broke ground Monday on its newest summer attraction, a splash pad at Carpenter Park.

Construction on the splash pad started in November, with a delay in December due to construction and plumbing crews being in isolation for COVID-19.

The park was a good place for the city to expand quality of life offerings to the south part of town, said City Councilor Barry Foster, who represents Ward 5 where the park is located at East Buena Vista and Southeast Main streets.

“We have good traffic and there’s kids in this area that they don’t have anything to do in the summer. Our swimming pool and even Second Street’s pretty far away from this area,” he said, referring to the Bert Murphy Family Splash Pad at Poe Corn Park.

Also taking part in the groundbreaking was State Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell, who Mayor Dennis Kintigh said was instrumental in getting state capital outlay funds for the splash pad.

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The cost of the splash pad is expected to be $450,000, with $314,907 coming from the 2019 legislative appropriation, according to a project status document from the city. The city’s share of the splash pad is expected to be $3,936.

Pirtle said he had driven by the Bert Murphy Splash Pad in the past and saw the number of people using it.

“The thought came what if we did another one, somewhere on the south side of town to allow those families and people the ability to participate in something as fun and joyful as splashing around in the water,” Pirtle said.

Foster said the Bert Murphy Splash Pad was attracting up to 1,110 visitors per day prior to last year. It remained closed in 2020 due to the public health order.

The new splash pad will be a “third leg” of enhancing facilities to the community, along with the Bert Murphy Splash Pad and the Roswell Recreation and Aquatic Center, Kintigh said.

“I like how we’re spreading this around the community,” Kintigh said. “This was driven in many ways by the closing of Cahoon Park pool.”

Foster said he hopes the fourth leg of the effort will be a park proposed for the 2300 block of South Virginia Avenue. Funding for the park is one of five projects the city requested in its 2022-2026 Infrastructure Capital Improvements Plan submitted to the state for capital outlay allocations.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.