Council votes to build splash pad in Dartmouth Common

The two-year project is expected to open in the summer

The push is on to get an outdoor splash pad built in the Dartmouth Common this summer, now that council has agreed to help fund it.

Halifax regional council approved the project at a meeting Tuesday. The municipality will continue to work with a community initiative called Friends of Dartmouth Splash Pad to build it.

Rick Mayuk, a member of the community group, is happy with council’s decision.

“At the end of the day, the community has needed confidence and the public sector has needed confidence from regional council as to what location they support, so we can begin fundraising,” Mayuk said in an interview after the meeting.

Halifax regional council discusses the development of the splash pad.   Nick Cantar

The splash pad, which is like a tiny water park with no standing water, has been in development since April 2018.

The Halifax Regional Municipality currently has six outdoor splash pads, but none of them are in Dartmouth.

Mayuk’s group originally considered putting the splash pad in Graham’s Grove near Lake Banook, but it was later decided the Dartmouth Common would be a better location.

Coun. Sam Austin noted that the Dartmouth Common is by the bus terminal.

“There’s a number of public housing units in that area, so you do have access to people who don’t necessarily have the luxury of being able to hop into a car and go over to a lake or over to the beach,” he said in the meeting.

This spot in the Dartmouth Common is where the splash pad will go.   Nick Cantar

Only Coun. Stephen Adams voted against the plan to proceed with the splash pad, saying he believed it would be too close to one in Zatzman Sportsplex on Wyse Road.

But Austin said it’s not accurate to compare these two pads.

“They’re apples and oranges. In the Sportsplex, there’s not an outdoor play space. It’s not a place for that informal play at all. It’s a pool deck with three or four little pieces of equipment,” he said.

The pad is estimated to cost $650,000. The municipality will pay for most of it, but Mayuk’s group will provide some funding.

Mayuk said they aim to raise $150,000 from businesses, grants and the public. They’re also looking for businesses to put their names on the project. The group has raised $75,000 at this point.

The play area is expected to be open this summer.

“We see this as an opportunity to really take play to the next level and really start to make this a splash pad accessible and inclusive for all,” Mayuk said.

Nick Cantar

Nick Cantar

Nick Cantar is a journalist for The Signal. He is curious about all kinds of stories. When not working, Nick enjoys being outdoors.

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