Splash pad planned at Dupo Park

Pictured is a visual rendering of one potential option for a splash pad at Dupo Park. (submitted photo)

The village of Dupo is continuing its project of turning its park into a family-friendly place for recreation and fun, and Dupo village trustee Ken Phillips is leading the charge.

The newest project planned for the park is a splash pad.

“When the park was built in 2003, we wanted to make it the best we could for the children. I’ve always been about doing things for the kids,” Phillips, who is also the village’s parks committee chairperson, said of the addition of a splash pad.

The village has completed two phases for renovating the park — phase one included adding the main pavilion. Phase two consisted of building additional pavilions and the baseball field. Meanwhile, phase three would include both the splash pad and a community center for social gatherings.

Many Dupo residents came to Village Hall for a parks committee meeting last year to voice their opposition to the community center proposal because of an estimated $700,000 figure. Regardless of whether the center is built, Phillips said the splash pad will happen.

The estimated price tag for the splash pad comes out to a little more than $100,000. Recently, the St. Clair County Parks Grants Commission awarded a $50,000 grant to the village of Dupo to build the splash pad. Phillips said the village’s parks budget could probably absorb most of the remaining expenses.

“Preserving and enhancing our natural resources and open spaces, and providing affordable recreational opportunities for our residents are priorities,” St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern said in a press release.

Phillips said the splash pad will be about 1,500 square feet with the ability to add more features over time. Additionally, he said the village will not determine a site for the splash pad until the village board decides whether to move forward with the community center.

He said a nearly $200,000 grant for the community center is good for two more years. When winter arrives, Phillips said the board will sit down and discuss phase three to devise a full scale plan.

“It’s going to be something for the kids to have fun on,” he said of the splash pad. “Right now, you have handicap children — we don’t really have anything that they can do.

“This is something that kids in a wheelchair would be able to do. And also, swimming pools are so costly.”

He said he hopes to have the splash pad built for next summer. In addition to the village of Dupo, East Carondelet received $50,000 from the commission to build a water spray at Community Park. 

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