New splash pad coming to Southampton
by Sandy Lindsay

July 27, 2016

Service Clubs

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Conceptual drawing

Southampton Rotary Club has been given the go ahead by Saugeen Shores Council to proceed with plans for a new accessible splash pad.

Rotarian delegation

(L-R Fr.) John Conlin (Pres.) and Tony Sheard

(L-RBack) Henry Weickert, Ed Braun and Alex Thornburn

Rotarians Tony Sheard and Ed Braun presented the plan to Council at Monday night's meeting, July 25th, complete with a detailed financial breakdown. The splash pad is part of phase 3 of the project which complements the existing accessible playground.

It will be situated behind the Southampton Fire Hall adjacent to the playground and existing accessible washrooms. In keeping with the location and based on accessiblity, the design will allow for a wide range of users with varying abilities as an extension of the accessible playground.

In addition, with the proximity of the Fire Hall, an option has been considered to recycle the 'used water' by connecting into the irrigation system providing an alternate source of water for Fire Service Tanker trucks.

Also, with the Fire Service connection, the exciting concept has been to come up with a 'firefighter' themed splash pad. 

 The capital project is anticipated to come in at $150,000 with annual operating costs in the range of $3,400 to $8,400 (yet to be confirmed), to be assumed by the town.  A grant has been submitted to the Federal government as part of its accessibility program and Southampton Rotary anticipates it will be a "very do-able" fundraising project.

The committee within Rotary that will be leading the fundraising and interfacing with the Town, is made up of six members:

Ed Braun (Chair) Mike Roberts
John Cherrie Tony Sheard
Don Dal Bianco Henry Weickert

Cherrie, Dal Bianco and Sheard all have considerable fundraising experience.

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The Rotary has done its homework and garnered support form several community organizations and individuals including:
>Southampton BIA >Community Living
>G.C.Huston Public School >Accessibility Advisory  
>Southampton Fire Fighters >Recreation & Active    Transportation Comm.
>The Fire Chief >PRANCE
>Southampton Residents Association >Users

Ann Veyvara-Divinski, who is the Operational Manager of PRANCE, equestrian riding for those with emotional and physical disabilities, spoke in favour of the project.  "It's amazing to see those with physical disabilities and challenges be able to play and cool down in a splash pad that is accesssible.  With all of them in the one place, (playground and splash pad), we would have something that no other community has. On behalf of all those at PRANCE - the riders, the volunteers and the staff, we fully support the Southampton Rotary plan to have a splash pad in Southampton."

The goal is to have the splash pad completed and opened in 2017 for Canada's 150th birthday.

While there is also an application before Council to support a splash pad in Port Elgin, Rotarian Tony Sheard does not feel it will create any conflict. 

"There may be benefits when it comes to tendering both pads together such as freight charges and the logistics of construction crews that would include moving them from one site to another which might save some money," said Sheard.  "There are also a number of unique features such as the firefighting theme, a different style of pad and the fact it is linked to the accessible playground gives the Southampton project unique features." 

Council unanimously agreed to support the project and gave the go-ahead to Southampton Rotary.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016