A child enjoys the new splash pad in Colonie Jim Franco/Spotlight News
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COLONIE — It’s more like playing in a life-size, wet video game than going to the pool to cool off.
And the kids just love the new $900,000, 11,000-square-foot splash pad at the Mohawk River Park and Pool on Schermerhorn Road off of Route 9.
“Kids who can’t go into the big pool can come here and cool off. We can’t play with my little brother because he is too small for the big pool but we can play with him here,” said Amari Barnes of her 9-year-old brother. “Also, I bet disabled people who can’t go in the big pool can come here and get in the water and get cooled off … it’s been hot outside.”
Supervisor Paula Mahan announced the splash park last fall for a formerly under-used portion of the town pool complex. It features brightly colored, different shaped sprinklers and fountains and water guns and buckets 15 feet in the air that fill up and then dump water on those standing underneath.
“It really brightens up this whole half of the pool, before it was just dingy concrete. It really brings life to the place,” said John Kassel, an assistant manager at the pool. “The kids really freak out when they see it. They really like the colors and the fountains and there really isn’t anything like it in the area.”
The splash pad follows the same hours and rules as the town’s swimming pool. It is opened from noon to 7 p.m. whenever weather allows the pool to open for the season and forces it to close for the winter. They are open to only Town of Colonie residents who have a green residency card. Only residents older than 18 can have nonresident guests at the pool, and then no more than three guests at any given time. Pool passes can be purchased at the town recreation office adjacent to the town park.
“This new splash pad is a great addition to our beautiful town park,” Mahan said. “It’s wonderful to be able to provide these improvements to the town’s great recreational facilities.”
Other improvements made to the town park include new pool liners, a new filtration system for the pool, American with Disabilities Act compliant pool lifts and a barrier free playground, and resurfaced tennis courts.
Next up, she said, are improvements to the town’s 12 pocket parks.
“It’s for all ages, anyone can come and use it and we have had small children and adults. We’ve been getting a lot of people trying it out,” said lifeguard Morgan Welling while watching over a small crowd splashing around. “As a life guard, I enjoy it because we can move around and the kids like the different features. It’s more fun than just swimming around in the pool — it’s like having big toys in the pool.”
The Mohawk River Park and Pool was opened in 1967, and the lower half of the 160-acre park runs along the Mohawk River.
It has an Olympic size swimming pool with a diving area, a training pool, bath houses, pavilions, picnic facilities, nature trails, a covered bridge and is home to the Latham Lassies softball league and the North Colonie Pop Warner team.