Our View: ‘Sprayground’ would make big splash

It may not feel quite like summer yet, but the season is certainly on the way.

Families and youth across Clark County will look for ways to have fun outdoors, while still staying cool in the process.

That is where a proposed splash pad — often called a “sprayground” — would be a perfect solution for the future.

Developing this type of play area or park would be a great project to help enhance the quality of life for families living here and those who may consider doing so.

But this undertaking won’t be cheap and will require a significant commitment from the city and other partners to build it, operate it, maintain it and police it in such a way that families will want to go there.

The City of Winchester has budgeted up to $250,000 in matching funds for the project, although there is no exact cost estimate or timetable to raise the additional funds.

The parks and recreation department is making a new push to start raising money and recently mailed a flyer to every home and business in Clark County as a way to reignite interest in the project that has been talked about off and on for several years.

If it comes the fruition, fittingly, the splash pad would be at the site of the former Eugene Gay Pool.

The preliminary design has been developed but specifics like dimensions and features will depend on how much money is raised. The plan is to build a concrete pad and the necessary infrastructure that has the ability to expand later.

Parks and rec officials are absolutely on target in taking this approach. It would be difficult to go back if the project starts too small.

Although we would love to see the return of one or multiple public swimming pools, the reality is these are expensive propositions to maintain and operate. In most cases they lose significant amounts of money each year and often have to be subsidized by some outside entity.

A splash pad would require mostly upfront expenses with minimal operation and maintenance costs each year.

This is a great opportunity for civic clubs, church groups, foundations and other philanthropic organizations focused on the betterment of our community and wellbeing of our youth to rise to the challenge and help create something that would have a positive impact for years to come.

These types of community improvements are exactly what will make people want to visit Winchester and, ultimately, call it home.