CTA IN THE NEWS: A cool way for kids to spend their day coming to South Park [in Billings, MT]
A new sprayground planned for South Park in Billings this fall or next spring will cool young bodies and bring a smile to the connoisseurs of all things cool. That’s because the proposed design, presented to the Billings Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Board on Wednesday, will include 55 underground programmable jets that can squirt water into the air in eye-pleasing — and kid-friendly — ways.
“They can even be interactive,” said Dayton Rush, a landscape architect with CTA Architects Engineers, which is designing the water feature for the city. A foot button will allow children to activate some of the jets, which will push water out at a rate comparable to a bathroom shower or a faucet. The feature will be divided into age-appropriate areas, he said. One idea, he said, is to have the largest jet go off only once every hour, in order to build suspense — a little like Old Faithful, Rush said.
The sprayground will be constructed between the new playground equipment currently being installed and the South Park pool. A grass berm will give parents and caregivers the opportunity to lay down a towel and watch their children. Additional trees will be planted, and a tri-colored concrete deck with a proposed maze design will be included. The water will be recirculated and treated, just as nearby pool water is treated. Each jet will cost about $1,000 installed. The project, which has not yet been bid, will cost about $500,000, including about $200,000 for the water feature.
FROM CTA PROJECT MANAGER/LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT DAYTON RUSH:
CTA SITE is excited to be leading the design on a new splash pad at South Park in Billings, MT. South Park is an iconic Billings park that turned 100 years old in 2013, and is located in a residential area just south of downtown Billings.
The park history and its current uses created opposing viewpoints regarding siting of the splash pad. CTA established three project goals to keep the conversation positive by focusing on common ground, and created a model of the park so that residents could interact and visualize each location within the park. This led to a quick unanimous decision.
The design of the splash pad has the right mix of naturalistic and urban attitudes. Breaking from the norm, the splash pad will be highly interactive and constantly changing. A secret maze on the surface of the splash pad will be created by contrasting sealed and unsealed concrete so that paths only appear when wet. A shade structure will protect children and caretakers from sun, and create a dynamic focal point within the park.
CTA is currently completing construction documents. The splash pad will open on Memorial Day 2016.
- Dayton Rush, project manager/landscape architect
- Stephanie Donovan, landscape architect-in-training
- Patrick White, civil engineer
- Brandin Mills, electrical engineer-in-training