GREENFIELD — Toddler-friendly areas, water-dumping buckets and water cannons are on the wish list for a proposed splash pad at Riley Pool.

Jeff Mader of Mader Design in Indianapolis recently presented the conceptual design for the approximately $2 million project to the Greenfield Parks and Recreation Board. The proposed design places a curved splash pad or spray-ground area south of the existing Riley Pool and includes landscaping, cabanas, umbrellas and increased parking areas north of the pool.

The next step is to seek proposals from design firms for the detailed design of the project, including specifically what features of the splash pad would be where, said parks and recreation department superintendent Ellen Kuker. City officials have said they’ll weigh funding options once a final plan is presented.

Mader Design considered multiple concepts and locations for the splash pad, slated to open in May 2018, with the assistance and input of the city’s splash pad committee, Mader said, but in the end selected the location of the splash pad south of the existing pool because it would provide easy access to renovated restrooms and lend potential to add new parking areas.

While surrounding communities have added slides, splash features and lazy rivers to make their community pools feel more like water parks — features that are attractive to young families — Greenfield’s city-owned pool has seen few updates since it opened in the 1980s.

Mader explained his firm worked to plan the improvements with room to grow and expand, should the parks department wish to eventually add a gradually sloping zero-entry pool or other amenities.

“We designed this from a future project standpoint,” he said. “We wanted to make sure we didn’t box ourselves into a corner.”

Parks officials discussed options for water flow with the design firm, with the conclusion that using a recirculating water system would work best because it’s closest to what the pool uses now and would conserve more water than other alternatives, Mader said.

At a recent meeting with the splash pad committee, members requested bike racks and shade in and around the splash pad area, he said. Members of the design firm also added landscaping around the splash pad as a buffer to discourage children from running into the parking lot, he said.

Parks board president Rick Roberts said he was encouraged to hear that repaving the parking lot between the pool and the Patricia Elmore Center would be a part of the project. The plan for the splash pad removes about five parking spots on the south side of the pool but adds 35 more parking spaces along the north side of the pool.

“We have fiddled with that parking lot for 30 years,” Roberts said.

The parks department opted to include repaving the parking lot with the project in order to update the area as a whole, Kuker said.

Once the parks department has received proposals from design businesses for the splash pad project, officials will interview the top three applicants and make their selection, Kuker said. They hope to have a design firm selected by year’s end.

There will be two more public meetings concerning the splash pad, though they are not scheduled yet, she said.

“Greenfield has waited for something like this for a really long time,” Kuker said. “I just hope we can get the support we need.”

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or