HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – The City of Hartsville is planning a multi-million project to expand its existing splashpad into a full-fledged water park, which is anticipated to open in May of next year.
City officials provided a concept documents for the "Hartsville Hideaway" Waterpark expansion, which would be located at Byerly Park, where the city's Piratesville Splashpad is currently located. The splashpad is a multi-functional water play area designed for children, the city's website states.
The current splashpad is designed for children aged 8 and younger, said Natalie Zeigler with the City of Hartsville, and she hopes that the new facility will provide a great experience for families with kids of all ages.
The concept documents show a large wave pool, activity pool, lagoon, lazy river, waterslide tower, and more, in addition to the existing splashpad. Zeigler said the park will not be as large as Carowinds, but similar in size to the waterparks in Myrtle Beach.
City spokesperson Rebecca Edwards said the design team, Weber Group, Inc. out of Indiana presented the design plans, photo examples, and market study info at a special called city council meeting last week. Edwards said, "They are very excited about having the possibility about having this great big tourism attraction in the area, as well as having an opportunity to have exercise classes, training and other things like that."
The projected cost of the water park is $5 to $7 million, but that may change based on the projected revenue of the park, said Edwards. "It's something very different even for a small town of our size to have. I think it makes us more unique than we already are. We are going to be able to see new people coming in, families coming to stay for the weekend take advantage of the waterpark, and all our other great features we have in Hartsville, and just really make it a family destination," said Edwards.
The Splashpad currently can hold 150 people per day, and the new waterpark will have the capacity of almost 1200 people, Edwards added which also means more jobs in the area. "We have to have staff capacity to be able to run the waterpark every year, and this will create new jobs for us. Lifeguards, we'll have water park manager as well as concession stand branding and things like that," Edwards stated.
Zeigler said the project will be funded through refinancing hospitality bonds and borrowing additional money through that funding source.
The city is moving forward quickly, and the anticipated opening of the new park is May 2018, Edwards said. Zeigler said the next step is for the council to approve the financing and construction team.
"Hartsville is quickly being recognized as the progressive City in the Pee Dee as well as across the State and we hope to keep moving forward with this momentum," Zeigler said.
The Piratesville Splashpad will open for pre-season on May 18 and remain open through Labor Day. Private parties, and season passes are available for purchase right now.