A Citizens Park splash pad that has been discussed for the last few years is closer to becoming a reality.

Aiken City Council unanimously approved the purchase of the splash pad equipment on Monday night at its regular meeting – the cost of that equipment will be $119,062.04.

The City has those funds on hand from Round II of the Capital Project Sales Tax, according to a memorandum from City Manager Richard Pearce.

Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Glenn Parker said it will take about eight to 10 weeks for the equipment to come in, and, during that waiting period, the pad itself will be installed.

Parker said this is one of the last items on the Round II Capital Project Sales Tax list that need to be completed, and they're anxious to finish the new splash pad.

“It's something that we don't have in Aiken,” Parker said. “We're looking forward to it.”

Parker said that staff considered a variety of themes for the splash pad including horses because of the equine influence in the community and airplanes due to the fact that Citizens Park was once an airport.

The staff decided on a sports theme. The splash pad will include a slide shaped like a tennis shoe, buckets resembling baseballs that will dump water and fountains or water cannons shaped like different sports equipment.

“We just went with the sports theme because we thought that would be the best overall fit for Citizens Park,” Parker said.

The new splash pad will be located off the corner of the Connector Road and Barry Johnson Boulevard in Citizens Park near the walking track.

A parking lot will be added near splash pad, which will also help accommodate vehicles of those using the batting cages and track, Parker said.

The splash pad will be open and free to the public.

Parker said they hope to also rent it out for events like birthday parties.

Parker said that they are still working on a timeline of when this project will be complete, and he said they hope it will be done some time this summer.