GREENFIELD — The much-anticipated splash pad project at Riley Pool will be accompanied by a work of community art.
The Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department has put out a call for proposals for a mural design, 4 feet high by 8 feet wide, to be reproduced on a new out building that’s a part of the $2 million splash pad project slated to open this summer, said parks superintendent Ellen Kuker.
The back of the new building, holding mechanical equipment and restrooms, will face Apple Street, Kuker said. The splash pad committee, which includes Greenfield-Central High School pool manager and men’s swimming coach Mark Logan, parks maintenance foreman Josh Gentry and parks board member Kathy Dowling, decided a mural would help make that part look more enticing, she said.
“It’s kind of a welcome sign from Apple Street to the new splash pad and the pool,” she said. “The mural ideally would have to do with water and water play.”
The mural contest is a continuation of an effort to get the community involved in the project, Logan said. Previously, swimmers were asked to submit drawings with their wish list for a new pool design.
City officials have long planned to upgrade the Riley Park Pool, which was first built in the 1980s and has remained mostly the same since; a 2005 attempt to take out a $3.5 million bond to build a new water park, complete with slides and a lazy river, was vetoed by former Mayor Rodney Fleming.
A second project to renovate the existing pool and its amenities is planned to begin in the fall of 2018 and open in May 2019, Kuker said.
That project will add shade structures, cabanas, renovated bathrooms and locker rooms, as well as a reconfigured admission area, said Kuker in November.
There are no restrictions on what the proposed mural could look like, though the committee members envision lots of bright colors and nods to the splash pad and the park itself, Logan said.
The splash pad will sport a nature theme, and some of its features include animals youngsters might see down the hill at Riley Park, including squirrels, turtles and ducks, Gentry said.
The winning design won’t be painted on the wall. It will be digitally reproduced on an outdoor weather-resistant sign, Kuker said. A plaque will be put up near the mural, acknowledging the artist, she said.
Ideally, the winner will be someone local, she said.
Kuker and members of the splash pad committee have reached out to art teachers at county schools, encouraging them to let their students know about the contest. However, artists big and small are invited to take part in the competition, she said.
Submissions can be submitted on 11-by-7-inch paper at the parks department, 280 Apple St., or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for the contest is March 30; the winner will be announced April 15.