Another fix planned for splash pad slide

PARKERSBURG — Additional modifications are planned for a slide at Parkersburg’s new splash pad after another injury was reported.

The tube slide at the new feature adjacent to the City Park pool was closed June 23 after a boy suffered a gash to his head coming off of it two days earlier. It reopened on Thursday after replacement pieces were installed by a technician at no cost to the city, but is closed once again.

Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce said another injury was reported after the slide reopened, although he did not have specific details immediately available. Representatives from manufacturer Aquatix and Hunt Valley Contractors, who installed the splash pad equipment, came to the site Saturday to assess the situation, he said.

“Keeping children safe on our water play products is our highest priority at Aquatix,” a spokesperson for the company said via email Tuesday. “There’s a transitional piece between the slide and exit path that has a ridge on it, which will be eliminated. In addition, the exit path will be elongated.”

As it was last week, the splash pad remains open while the slide in question is closed.

“It’s going to remain down until they can make those modifications,” Joyce said.

The first modifications involved replacing two plastic windows on the slide with solid pieces of plastic.

“They thought that they had mitigated it in its entirety,” Joyce said.

Parkersburg City Councilman Jeff Fox said he had received multiple calls and messages about the situation and he’s confident the safety concerns will be addressed.

“I know we all feel terrible about” the children who were injured, he said. “The people in charge of the design, the construction and then our city engineer have all been working on a solution to this.”

Fox noted safety was a focus when the facility was being planned, with city officials opting to add a skid-resistant surface to the project.

The 10,000-square-foot, $1.3 million facility opened to the public May 31.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com