Scotia’s New ‘Splash Pad’ is Just Kinda Sad; Actually, It’s Nothing More Than a Little Squirt

The dog days of summer are barking earlier than usual this year, with record-breaking temps spiking faster than your friendly neighborhood, amateur Fourth of July fireworks display, but my sympathies are with the ever-patient residents of Scotia-Glenville, who appear to have been hosed with an underwhelming “Splash Pad,” that finally celebrated its long-awaited Grand Opening over the weekend, just in time for one of the worst heatwaves the 518 has experienced since the 1950s, although, I’m not sure why it’s called a “pad,” since the entire thing appears to be a giant slab of hard concrete and about 15 “mad basic” wet jet fountains.


This casual observation comes from someone who doesn’t have kids, but whose inner-Toys “R” Us kid is extremely disappointed in this weak AF splash pad, and apparently I’m not the only one, because this wet blanket of a spray ground received some attention on Facebook over the weekend, as a pretty honest and accurate reaction to it by a first-hand attendee caught my attention:

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Facebook thread captured/shared with approval from my friend, Rich Cloudhammer.

Now, when I hear, “Splash Pad,” I immediately think of a set out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, only instead of chocolate rivers there’s quality H2O spouting out of playful, imaginative water features, like firetrucks, dolphins, or mushrooms, spraying a refreshing mist of agua Bobby Boucher, everyone’s favorite Waterboy, would be proud of; however, Bobby wouldn’t touch this Splash Pad with a ten-foot pole.

And don’t @ me because I’m not wrong for having that image or mild expectation, as Wikipedia defines a splash pad or spray pool as, “a recreation area, often in a public park, for water play that has little or no standing water…. Typically there are ground nozzles that spray water upwards out of the splash pad’s raindeck. There may also be other water features such as a rainbow (semicircular pipe shower), or mushroom- or tree-shaped showers.”

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Image: Wikipedia, example of an urban splash pad in Toronto’s High Park.

Yeah, there’s none of that flair in Scotia, as seen in this picture of the Splash Pad’s inaugural run over the weekend:

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Photo Cred: Facebook | Rich Cloudhammer

Sure, at first glance it looks like it does the trick, but these little dudes deserve more, because right now it seems all they’ve got is a prime opportunity for a pair of skinned knees. Where’s the “pad” in Splash Pad, guys? I wouldn’t want to slip an fall on that splash deck. Heck, it looks like they’re got all the bells and whistles at the Gavin Splash Park up in Wilton, Leslie Knope would be proud:

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Image: Town of Wilton, Parks and Rec.

Now, while I’m definitely throwing some shade on the final product, the shade most definitely isn’t directed at everyone involved in bringing this project to life, but rather the contractor who failed to live up to its end of the bargain.

You see, the Scotia-Glenville Lions Club, a well-respected community service organization, worked super hard to raise $85,000 to pay for the project, with plans to donate the splash pad to the village of Scotia all along, so major kudos to them for dreaming up this idea in the first place, because the local kiddies are in dire need of a spot to cool down, since Collins Lake, the focal point of Collins Park, remains closed to swimming because of sediment stirred up by Tropical Storm Irene more than five years ago.As noted in The Daily Gazette, while the Lions Club initiated this project with a $15,000 donation, it couldn’t have been done without plenty of support and generous donations from the community-at-large, including another $15,000 kickstarter from local non-profit Maddie’s Mark, a foundation that creates programs for sick children, so almost everyone involved was all about the kids.

The Splash Pad has been in the works since November 2016, but the project ran into delays after problems with the original contractor. Progress came to a halt in June 2017, a lawsuit ensued, and it took almost a year to work out the legal drama and resume construction.

You can read about the deets here, courtesy of the The Gazette, but basically the lawsuit alleged that during and after construction round one, the concrete work was defective in various ways, including, “having rough and uneven surfaces.” Pro-Dive, the company responsible for this mess, refused to replace it, causing the pad to postpone its 2017 Memorial Day Weekend opening, forcing the village of Scotia to remove the entire splash pad last October and essentially start from scratch.

This project has been the Lions Club’s biggest undertaking to date, and they proudly documented the project’s construction progress every step of the way – check it out here. For those unfamiliar with the area, this splash pad’s in the vicinity of Jumpin’ Jacks, the Mohawk River’s favorite burger joint over near Schenectady.

Ultimately, it’s all about the kids, and if they’re wet and happy with Scotia’s Old Faithful, then who am I to judge the concrete splash pad. For me, it’s just a disappointing reminder that no good deed goes unpunished: The Lions Club appears to be a victim of someone who didn’t fulfill their end of the bargain; however, unlike the cowardly contractor, the club and community persevered despite adversity, like a true lion would. RAWR.

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