One Pool Filled at Chickahominy Riverfront Park; Splash Pad Proposed

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Only one of the two pools at Chickahominy Riverfront Park will re-open for the summer 2016 season. The deep pool was filled and could be replaced with a splash pad for the 2017 season. (Kirsten Petersen/ WYDaily)
Only one of the two pools at Chickahominy Riverfront Park will reopen for the summer 2016 season. The deep pool was filled and could be replaced with a splash pad for the 2017 season. (Kirsten Petersen/ WYDaily)

Officials from the James City County Department of Parks and Recreation are looking to replace the leaking deep pool at Chickahominy Riverfront Park with a family-friendly option.

The department has proposed installing a splash pad, which is a play area with fountains and minimal standing water. The splash pad would cost James City County $175,000 initially and $3,500 annually to maintain, but officials anticipate $10,000 in new revenue each year, thanks in part to new visitors it will attract.

“By installing a splash pad in the same area, the facility would provide an additional activity area for non-swimmers, a new revenue stream and a reduction in water, chemicals and manpower,” according to the project’s Fiscal Year 2017-2021 Capital Improvement Plan request for funding.

During a meeting with the JCC Planning Commission’s Policy Committee on Feb. 11, department director John Carnifax and Parks Administrator Nancy Ellis explained that during the past two summers, the park exceeded its Department of Environmental Quality groundwater withdrawal limits due to leaking from the deep pool.

It would have been too costly to repair it, they said, so the pool was filled earlier this year. It was one of two pools – the larger pool remains open.

There is currently no public splash pad in Williamsburg, officials said. If the splash pad is included in the five-year CIP, work on the project could begin as early as September and wrap up in January 2017.