Splash pad opens at Hamilton’s Booker T. Washington Community Center

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The splash pad at the Booker T. Washington Community Center in Hamilton.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Dark clouds reduced the morning crowd Saturday to three for the opening of the new splash pad at Hamilton’s Booker T. Washington Community Center, but a lucky birthday boy and his party had the opportunity to experience the water feature a day early.

On Friday, “A mom and a bunch of kids had a little birthday party under one of the shelters,” said Hamilton Parks Conservancy Director Steve Timmer, who oversaw creation of the new park and splash pad. “I asked them, ‘Hey, are you going to come over tomorrow, for the grand opening?’”

He was told they might be over, “but today’s my son’s birthday.”

Timmer asked, “Well, how ’bout if I just turn it on and let him have about 30 minutes worth of water feature? He’ll be the first one to use it.”

The mom asked, “Are you serious?”

“So it’s already been running,” he said Saturday with a chuckle.

The small park was delayed for a few reasons — Timmer wanted to install a fence to prevent small children from getting into traffic; there were construction issues; heavy rains washed away grass this spring; and extra time was spent creating handicapped-accessible bathrooms, but everything was in top shape Saturday morning as the park awaited its first official visitors.

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Samy Broyles, program director of the Great Miami Valley YMCA, which operates the center, said the upgraded park with the water area and picnic shelters “should make this more of a family-friendly environment, something that’s free to go do, inside the city of Hamilton.

“You don’t need to have money to come down here, so it’s great,” he said.

Broyles, Timmer and a news reporter showed up at 10:30 a.m. for the facility’s official opening.

Timmer said the park is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, with wheelchair-usable pathways connecting all the park’s features. There also are two picnic tables outfitted for people using wheelchairs.

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