PC opens splash pad

By Bart Moss

For the FCT

The town of Phil Campbell took one more step Saturday in the post-April 2011 tornado rebuilding effort.

The town held a grand opening for their new splash pad, something residents have been looking forward to for many months.

Prior to being ripped apart by the EF-5 tornado in 2011, the Phil Campbell city pool had become a money drain on the town. Maintenance costs, operational costs and low attendance were all causing a financial strain.

After the pool and recreation area took a direct hit by the tornado and was deemed to be beyond repair, city leaders were faced with a choice to rebuild a pool or try something new.

After getting input from city residents and doing some research, city leaders chose the latter.

“This has been a long-awaited dream come true,” said Phil Campbell Mayor Steve Bell.

“We haven’t had a place for our children to have fun during the summer for a few years now. We have been working really hard to make this happen.”

As many as 60 children filed into the splash pad during the grand opening Saturday.

“It’s great to see all these children smiling, laughing and having such a good time,” Bell said.

“It is great to have something nice for the young children of the area where they can come and have a good time with their family.”

The splash pad will be open from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. The splash pad is open only to children age 12 and under.  Children age 10 and under must have an adult guardian on site.  Toddlers age two and under must have an adult with them on the pad.

It is also advised that children wear swim shoes to prevent blisters and scrapes that might result from being on wet concrete for long periods of time. Also, the playground may require shoes because of rocks and dirt.

Admission will free for the remainder of this week. After June 2, admission will be $1 per child to help cover operation and maintenance costs.

The splash pad will also be available for parties from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. on the days of operation. There is a $125 charge to rent the pavilion and splash pad for parties ($25 is refundable if the area is cleaned up). There is no age limit for the parties.

Call Phil Campbell City Hall at 205-993-5313 to make reservations.

“We want to invite the community to come enjoy the site,” Bell said.

“We are nowhere near finished with the site. There is still much work we want to do as funding becomes available. Right now we have the splash pad, playground, grills, picnic tables and the pavilion.

“It’s a work in progress, but at least it’s progress.”

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