Project Spotlight: Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center

Relationships and Sheer Determination Make Possible an Upgrade on a Three-Month Deadline
In 1998, Splashtacular installed the original waterslides at Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center in Shelbyville, Indiana. At the time, the aquatic center’s slides and pool’s beach entry were cutting edge.

Fast forward to mid-February 2019. Trisha Tackett, recreation director for the Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department that oversees the Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center’s operation in Shelbyville, called Kodi Theilgaard, Splashtacular’s vice president of design, to invite us to participate in a competitive bid process to revitalize the center with a new aquatic play unit. But, there was one catch. The play unit had to be in place ready for use on May 7, just 3 months from Tackett’s initial call. The pool will be filled beginning on May 8, and the center will officially open on May 27.

“When Trisha said the deadline was May, I asked, ‘Of this year?’ In no other year would we be able to meet that tight of a turnaround, but our team had a tiny window open,” says Theilgaard. “Next, we reached out to our vendors to ensure they would be on board this project and meet the deadline.”

Splashtacular designed and presented a plan for the upgrade, which included our 100ST aquatic play unit model with 14 features such as deck bubblers, arching deck jets, a water blaster, a water wheel, a dual racer slide and more.

“After the presentation, we would have to move fast to have the new play unit ready for the public this season’s opening day. We talked to the mayor and explained we were ready to move forward with a formal verbal approval, knowing a council vote would have to be taken at the next meeting,” explains Theilgaard. With the mayor’s thumbs up, we rallied our internal team and our vendors to get started.

On Monday, March 4, the Shelbyville Common Council approved our bid to spend $150,000 of funds to purchase and install a new aquatic play unit that will be ready for the facility’s opening in May. The structure will replace current pipes that are not working correctly in the zero-depth area enjoyed by the community’s young children.

As it turned out, the council did not require any other designs or bids. “We were able to meet the deadline. We showed it was evident that we can go above and beyond to give the Shelbyville community a summer to look forward to with the upgraded park. And, we came in just under their budget,” says Theilgaard.

Before our team can install the 100ST aquatic play unit, Splashtacular is counting on our vendors to repour the pool slab to support the new feature. Plumbing will be addressed and Diamond Brite water sealing applied. This amount of work in such a short amount of time is only possible thanks to the close relationships Splashtacular has built with our vendors over the years. It’s not a matter of “you scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours,” but instead we bend over backwards for them and they’ll do the same for us.

Tackett says, “I feel like our public needs it and our public wants it so I feel it will be an added feature that will get utilized a lot and really help our attendance numbers at the pool. We do have a pool that is 20 years old and we are trying to put features in to help keep it going and help to compete with surrounding counties and what they have.”

Two decades after installing the center’s original waterslides, Splashtacular is relying on our close vendor relationships and our team’s determination and skill to give Shelbyville an aquatic center it can be proud of and enjoy for another 20 years – and all in a matter of approximately 90 days.