BICKNELL, Ind. (WTHI) - There wasn't much activity Tuesday morning at Bicknell's Southside Park. The playgrounds were empty. A commuter or two took a chance to use the park's pull-offs to take a needed break.
The last thing on most folk's mind on the first day of December is coming to the park to cool off with some cold water. But that thought isn't far off for mayor Thomas Estabrook.
Estabrook explains, "This is going to be a place obviously not just for Bicknell but for all of northern Knox county for sure. We're trying to make this as a another thing we're trying to do to reinvent the city."
Southside Park will soon have its own splash pad. The project will cost around 160 thousand dollars. Knox County Redevelopment has said it will cover 150 thousand dollars.
Estabrook says, "We're going to put it where the basketball court currently is. There is actually, the basketball court square is not too far off the size of what this will be."
The splash pad will be the city's answer to replacing their aging pool. For decades Swimland was the place where Bicknell kids spent their summers.
Estabrook explains, "The community got together, raised money, people who did electrical work and poured concrete, got together and built that pool. It lasted for sixty years."
But in 2018 equipment failures and violations forced its closure. It now sits empty in northside park. Its fate is up in the air.
Estabrook says, "I want to believe there's some functional use for it. But we have not come up with it yet. Not one that we can afford anyway."
But for now...the summer looks good for kids in the small town of Bicknell.
Estabrook says, "I think this is going to be great. This is going to be there for a long time. And it just does not have the large costs both in maintenance and capital improvements as a swimming pool does."