PAWTUCKET â€” A sprinkler-driven new water park and state of the art playground opened with a ribbon-cutting event â€” and a big splash â€” on Friday at Galego Court, featuring pizza and refreshments, a host of dignitaries and dozens of children eager to cool off in the summer afternoon heat.
The park opened with a last-moment change allowing the facility to stay open later at night, thanks to a letter by 8-year-old D'Angela "Lala" Feliz, in part citing the busy schedules of tasks kids have these days, that Pawtucket Housing Authority Director Steve Vadnais found was right on target.
Mayor Donald R. Grebien read the letter aloud prior to the ribbon-cutting, then had D'Angela assist him with cutting the ribbon that opened the gate to the water park with dozens of excited children then streaming through.
Vadnais said the park will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
Besides Grebien and Vadnais, other dignitaries on hand for the water park's grand opening included George Carvalho, state director for U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Alicia Pina, representing Congressman David Cicilline, City Councilors Jean Philippe Barros, Timothy Rudd and Albert Vitali Jr., and PHA commissioners Stella Carrera and Diane Legrand, as well as city Planning Director Barney Heath, project architect Luis Torrado and project engineer David D'Amico.
The Galego Court Water Park includes three spray loops and water coils set in a row to create a misting tunnel for "head to toe" soaking, offering immediate refreshment. The spraying generates a star pattern centered in the misting sprays from each spray loop. Water streams will also shoot from an umbrella to create a cascade of droplets. The water park also features a foot-activated water basket that sprays streams of water from a splash pad.
The water park and playground project was made possible by a $65,000 federal block grant through the city Department of Planning and Redevelopment and capital funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued under auspices of the Pawtucket Housing Authority. Total cost of the project was approximately $219,000. Catalano Construction Inc. served as project contractor, Torrado Architects was the architect and the project engineer was D'Amico Engineering Technology, Inc.