By Joe Bachman
This summer at Mead Field will be a splash.
MSA Professional Services unveiled their master plan for Mead Field to the public on Thursday night at Mead Elementary. The multi-use field will not only get an upgrade, but more importantly, an aquatics option for the west-side. The splash pad designs were made in part by Vortex Splashpads with input from Mead students.
“As much as this is a city project, this is the community’s project — and this is the youth of this city and their future to be a part of it,” said Mayor Zach Vruwink. “This project is a great validation for when people say “what is the city doing to make itself more attractive and more friendly to young people and young adults?” — and there’s no better example than this project here tonight.”
Making the presentation were representatives of MSA Professional Services, including Project Architect Carter Ardnt, Landscape Architect Sarah McDonald, and Senior Project Manager Matt Freeby.
“The idea is really energizing the park and serving the neighborhood as a whole, including baseball and beyond,” said Arndt. “This project is trying to tap into facilities that really capture the character of Wisconsin Rapids. There have been some themes that have been developing and coalescing, and they have to do with the historic place that this community comes from.”
According to MSA, the overall master plan for Mead Field aside from the splash pad is meant to be flexible and could change. The project will mainly focus on the aquatics aspect, which is expected to be finished by this August. Some of the features of the splash pad that were handpicked by Mead students include multiple leaf and frog inspired fountains, jet streams, and a bamboo twin water cannon, as seen in photos.
-New baseball fields
-Playground ages 5-12 and 2-5
-New tennis courts
-New trails with bike amenities
-Optional synthetic field
“The idea is that adding dry-play and wet-play together is really important,” said Arndt. “You’ll find that the kids come to the splash park and want to play for a while, then they’re done with the water to go play on the playground, and go back and forth — this plan really tries to emphasize the duality of what might be coming in the future.”
The cost of the splash pad will be covered under a $500,000 donation by the Legacy Foundation of Central Wisconsin. While a specific cost of the project has yet to be determined, MSA plans to stay under the donation amount.
“The idea behind the splash pad is that there is no standing water — in it’s simplistic form it’s what we used to do as kids when we put the sprinkler in the backyard and run through it,” said Freeby. “What we’re providing in the splash park is organized play activities on very different scales for different ages and activity levels.”
The city is still accepting ideas for future development of the area. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Below is a 3D run-through of the Mead Field Splash Pad area with future shelter, courtesy: MSA Professional Services.