Centerville park to get $475K sprayground renovation project in 2024

Parks director says 17-year-old feature has mechanical problems, reliability issues that have resulted in shutdowns

CENTERVILLE — Activity Center Park’s sprayground is set for its first makeover and upgrade in nearly two decades, according to the Centerville-Washington Park District.

The popular 22-acre community park at 221 N. Main St. in Centerville receives an estimated 31,500 visits per summer season, according to CWPD. However, Activity Center Park’s sprayground was installed in 2006, and has “reached a point of deterioration beyond regular repairs,” CWPD Executive Director Kristen Marks said Tuesday.

“The sprayground features and mechanical systems now perform below standards, leading to an increase of annual repair and maintenance cost,” Marks said. “This decline has resulted in a facility that has become unreliable and is plagued with unexpected mechanical and electrical system failures. Parts are often unavailable, either out of stock or discontinued, resulting in shutdowns.”

The $475,000 sprayground renovation project is being partially funded via a $150,000 donation from Dayton Children’s Hospital, which has been a CWPD sponsor “for a few years now,” including CWPD’s Fun Run Series and annual Turkey Trek.

“We’ve talked about partnering on a larger project that would have a positive, lasting impact on youth in the community,” Marks said. “When it came time to plan for the sprayground renovation project, Dayton Children’s was top of mind due to our past successful collaborations and conversations.”

The project will be completed using sustainable materials to extend the facility’s lifespan by 15 to 20 years. Several new amenities also will be added, including several new spray features and more covered picnic tables and seating areas.

Washington Twp.-based Oheil Site Solutions has been contracted for the project, which will begin in early 2024 with completion anticipated in the summer.

Dayton Children’s Hospital President and CEO Deborah Feldman said Dayton Children’s sponsors many events, activities and organizations across the Miami Valley every year, most notably those that impact the health and wellbeing of children and families.

“Dayton Children’s cares for thousands of children in this area that frequent this park, and a large percentage of our staff also live in this area and enjoy its amenities, so it seemed like a great investment in the community where we live, work and play to help children thrive,” Feldman said. “It’s just down the street from where we will also be opening up a new outpatient care center in the next year, as well.”

In addition to the Dayton Children’s donation, CWPD also has received an $8,500 grant from the Brighter Tomorrow Foundation to install a powered universal changing table in the Activity Center Park family restroom to improve the park experience for visitors with disabilities and their caregivers. That new park amenity will be completed in time for the sprayground reopening.

CWPD said it began laying the groundwork for the renovations in 2022 when it worked with Raleigh, North Carolina-based Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. and Indianapolis, Indiana-based Standard Aquatics and Recreation LLC to assess the sprayground’s condition.

Besides the sprayground, Activity Center Park also features an all-access playground, park shelters with restrooms and picnic tables, three baseball diamonds, a half-mile paved multi-use path, pollinator habitats and six pickleball courts.

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