Brandy Springs spray park moving along, might open later this year

CONTRIBUTED

This rendering shows what items will be part of the new spray park at Brandy Springs Park in Mercer, which could be ready to go by summer's end.

MERCER – After about three years of planning and fundraising, the spray park at Brandy Springs Park could be ready to go by the end of this summer.

“It’s been such a process,” said Frank Curl, who served on the park board during that time and is now helping with the final steps.

The project got its start as part of the Mercer park’s master plan, which was needed in order to apply for grants – that paperwork must go through a municipality, so Mercer borough has been part of the grant process.

The nonprofit Brandy Springs Park on state Route 158 includes a community building, playgrounds, dog park, and sports fields and courts.

The spray park costs about $240,000, and it’s partially funded by a matching grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Curl said.

Donations have been made, and that includes individuals, companies and businesses that have contributed money, volunteer work, equipment and construction services.

“There are so many people behind it,” he said.

The borough has been a big help along with J.T. Sauer and Associates, a firm that assisted the park with its master plan, Curl said.

The spray park is being built toward the back of the park near the pond, and things have been a bit behind schedule because of the weather.

“Mother Nature hasn’t been very good,” he said of rain and storms.

The pad is almost ready, and trenching will begin soon. The spray park itself isn’t a complicated project once all of the pieces are in place.

“It will be like a giant sprinkler,” he said.

The surface will be concrete with a non-slip texture. Features include hoops that spray water and a few taller structures for people to walk under.

If the spray park is completed by the end of the summer and the weather cooperates, visitors might be able to use it for a few weeks before it has to be winterized, Curl said.

There will be a small fee to use the spray park to help the park break even on operating costs. Curl hopes that more people will make donations once they see things taking shape.

Additional donations to Brandy Springs would help add more items to the spray park and fund a few more park projects.

Brandy Springs used to have two swimming pools that were shuttered four or five years ago due to costly upgrades like improving handicap accessibility, he said.

Park officials would like to get one of the pools up and running next summer, and that would likely include the addition of changing rooms.

A membership fee for both the spray park and pool will be eventually be established.

Also, the park’s pond park will be dredged in the near future. That area was licensed by the state as a dam in 1944, so the work can’t start until all of the necessary documents are in place, Curl said.

Volunteers and donations are still needed to help with the various projects, which he called “yard work on a big scale.”

For more information about Brandy Springs Park, contact park officials through the “Mercer Main Street” Facebook page.