Cold water might not sound very appealing in winter, but a new splash pad is set to open in Southwest Park this summer.
Splash pads are concrete spots that house water fountains that shoot up from the ground. During the summer months, the public can visit the pad to play and cool off.
Parks and Recreation Director Teresa Ervin said the splash pad, the fifth in Ardmore, will open to the public on May 1, along with the other four pads in town.
“It’s a fun, inexpensive way to stay cool during the summer,” Ervin said. “It’s obviously a benefit to our citizens. Most of our amenities or additions come from that premise, something our citizens can use and something they want. We try to provide that for them.”
Central Park was the first park to receive a pad followed by Broadlawn, Whittington and Douglass parks. The new pad was originally supposed to be completed by spring 2015, but stalled due to issues with existing water and sewer lines.
“It was just a long time coming,” Ervin said. “Coordination of our water lines, our sewer lines with our splash pad held it up somewhat.”
Ervin said the park will receive a few other updates. The department plans to add sidewalks connecting the pad, the pavilion and the playground as well as new signs and some play features for younger children along the park’s walking trail.
 “By summertime, you should see several new features at Southwest Park,” Ervin said. “Our next two bigger items would be enlarging the parking lot and bathroom facility in the future.”
Ervin said the Southwest splash pad should be slightly easier to maintain over the years, thanks to a slightly different design.
“The color on it was mixed into the concrete, not put on top, so that will help with maintenance down the road,” Ervin said. “This one also has a seat wall around the outside that makes a nice place for people to sit, but also helps maintain the water and stops it from making a muddy mess around the splash pad.”
The department will also offer free swimming lessons for children and adults during the summer.
“In southern Oklahoma in summer, water is part of our lives,” Ervin said. “Everybody needs to know some swimming safety.”
Winter gives the department a chance to touch up paint, replace basketball goals and benches and take care of other maintenance while the parks are less busy.