A new spray pad with 15 spray zones will replace the current one at Filippello Park after the City Council approved the $700,000 project this week.
The spray area will have a 2,500 sq. ft. of non-porous rubber play area, and seating situated around the spray park.
Recreation Director Peter Centola said the project has been a long time coming, and the current one is showing its age.
“I would say that’s been there 20 years, at least,” Centola said. “Certainly, it’s going to be new. It has different types of exciting water feature. The children will like it. The other one wasn’t really working.”
The project also includes upgrading the stormwater system for the pad, Centola added.
Filippello has one of only two spray pads in Watertown along with the one at Arenal Park, but Centola said he would like to see more so children have a place to beat the heat in their neighborhood.
“We are hoping to put a new one in the Arsenal and we are hoping to get a couple more in the City,” Centola said. “We just have two — both on eastern side of the City. I think Waltham has like 13. I think spray pads are terrific, and they don’t have to be that big.”
Resident Elodia Thomas said she had hoped to see a more imaginative design for the spray pad, as she has seen in other communities, to add “that extra wow factor.” She called it a missed opportunity and said the project could have been enhanced with money from the Community Preservation Act.
The spray pad replacement was originally added to the City’s list of capital projects in Fiscal Year 2021 when it estimated to cost $400,000. It became the 11th item on the FY23 Capital Improvement Plan, and due to the inflation of construction costs the price tag rose to $700,000, Public Works Superintendent Greg St. Louis wrote in a memo to City Manager George Proakis.
When bids were opened on March 7, Quirk Construction submitted the lowest bid of $574,150, George Proakis said.
“When you consider contingency and construction administration services this makes the $700,000 updated price, established in the most recent version of the capital plan, match pretty well where our bids are to allow us to be on budget and do this project this summer, on time as originally planned,” Proakis said.
St. Louis noted that the low bidder, Quirk, has worked with the town before, “So there is an existing relationship there.”
Moxley Court Lighting
At the March 16 meeting the City Council approved a $1.38 million project to replace the courts at Moxley Field and add a multi-sport outdoor rink. The project includes lighting, and during the meeting Councilors and members of the public asked if the project could include a button users could hit to turn on the lights. That way, they said, the lights would only have to be on when people are using the facility.
The button had not been part of the plan when it was approved, but at the March 28 meeting Proakis said: “We’re doing the button at Moxley. We’ve added it.”
The project was also awarded to Quirk Construction. It is scheduled to be completed by the fall, so it can be used by students at the temporary Watertown High School campus going up on the grassy area of Moxley Field.