Hoover, Shelby County to partner on recreational projects

Published 4:41 pm Wednesday, November 7, 2018

HOOVER –Shelby County and the city of Hoover will partner on two recreational projects: the construction of a restroom facility at Veterans Park off Valleydale Road and the planned EXPLORE playground and splash pad.

The Hoover City Council at its meeting on Monday, Nov. 5, approved resolutions about the collaboration.

The county and city had planned to split the $100,000 budgeted cost of a restroom facility adjacent to the beach volleyball courts at Veterans Park.

Instead, the county will cover the entire cost of the project, which will allow the city to use its planned $50,000 portion for the EXPLORE playground and splash pad.

The money will come from the county’s lodging tax/promotional account fund and the General Fund Capital Improvements Projects Park and Recreation account.

Shelby County will also pitch in an additional $25,000 of promotional funds for the playground and splash pad, which will feature a universal design intended to be accessible by all people regardless of age, gender, ability or change in ability.

The $2 million EXPLORE project will thus realize an extra $75,000 toward its goal.

Officials said about $1.87 million had been generated at a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 19.

The 15,000-square-foot playground will be located adjacent to the Hoover Metropolitan Complex RV lot. The site is in Jefferson County, but Shelby County officials expect their residents will use the playground and businesses could benefit from tourism.

The memorandum of agreement between the two entities states that the Shelby County tourism website, DiscoverShelby.com, will be promoted both at the Veterans Park restroom facility and at the EXPLORE playground.

The MOA also states that Hoover will collaborate with Shelby County in the strategic promotion of county tourism sites including Oak Mountain State Park, American Village, Cahaba River Park and Lay Lake.

The EXPLORE playground will feature a 17-foot clubhouse, active and musical play areas, a variety of swings, textures and bright colors.

The clubhouse will contain a variety of textures, sensory components and a television display to encourage seek-and-find activities throughout the playground. For the more adventurous there will be a zip track as well as a Rockin Robin for those looking for a quiet area.

Ample shade and picnic tables will be located throughout the area.

In addition, a 7,000-square-foot fully-inclusive splash pad will be located adjacent to the playground. People of all ability levels will have the opportunity to enjoy playing in the water as well.

A specially outfitted family restroom will also be located in the playground and splash pad area.

The project is expected to be completed in January 2019.