Representatives with the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce and the City of Bridge City held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday afternoon to dedicate the completion of the much anticipated splash pad at the park adjacent to the Bridge City Public Library off Parkside Place. The splash pad will be officially open for public use in May 2016. Photo by Tommy Mann Jr.

By Tommy Mann Jr. – For The Record

Children of Bridge City and the local community will have a new option for fun when summer returns in 2016.

The City of Bridge City held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday afternoon to dedicate its new splash pad, which is located at the park adjacent to the Bridge City Community Center and Bridge City Public Library off Parkside Drive at West Roundbunch Road.

According to Jerry Jones, city manager of Bridge City, the idea of having a splash pad available for the community began approximately six years ago. However, funding was an issue and, once available, development of the splash pad began this past May.

“There were only a few contractors available, who do this type of work,” Jones said. “The one we chose is very reputable but was booked until September, so we were basically on a waiting list. Once the project actually started, it moved along pretty fast.”

The splash pad features a number of “rings” and “umbrellas,” and even a Bridge City water tower, all of which unleash large streams of water up into the air, or down onto the awaiting children.

“The features rotate when the water is being sprayed, so the kids will move around the pad instead of just being stationary,” Jones continued. “They seem to enjoy it more that way as they follow the water around the splash pad.”

When the splash pad is officially opened to the public for summer of 2016, it will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily. The features all run on four-minute intervals, which is controlled by an activator button on the pad. When the water subsides, a child only need hit the button for more fun.

Mayor Kirk Roccaforte was very pleased to have the newest addition of the park completed and ready for use by the public in summer of 2016.

“We are proud to see the splash pad is here now,” Roccaforte said. “This park began with very little and has grown over the years. After Hurricane Ike, we got a large play equipment donation from McDonald’s, then we were able to get the pavilion. Now we have another feature available to the public with the completion of the splash pad.”

David Rutledge, Place 1 city councilman, was a member of the committee responsible for the splash pad project.

“We are all so excited to see the splash pad is now here at the park,” Rutledge said. “But we cannot forget that (the late) Tom Perry was very instrumental in this whole park initiative.”

Perry’s wife, Beverly, also served on the project committee and was on hand for the dedication on Thursday afternoon.

“We knocked on so many doors of businesses and residences, and it was so hot much of the time,” she said with a laugh. “But this was a whole-town affair. So many people stepped up to help with this, it just makes me proud.”

Jones stated the splash pad project cost approximately $160,000 to complete and should provide years of fun for children of the community. However, there may be more to come.

“We will look at enlarging this splash pad area next year, if we have additional funds,” Jones said. “One of the things we have talked about is adding a big ship with water cannons at the open end of the splash pad. That would be a lot of fun.”