Mayor Announces First-of-its-Kind Public Double-Waterslide
Utica Mayor Robert M. Palmieri today unveiled a first-of-its-kind, 25-foot, public double-waterslide in Thomas R. Proctor Park. The waterslide will provide another alternative for residents looking to cool off in the summer and will be another amenity to attract residents and visitors to T. R. Proctor Park. Work on the slide will begin imminently and the entire construction is expected to be completed by the first day of summer 2024. The slide is custom-design by internationally-acclaimed water ride supplier Splashtacular and Weston & Sampson, an Albany-based design and engineering firm that is one of the most sought after such firms on the east coast. The slide is designed to be self-contained, meaning no pool or deep water is necessary to run the slide. Instead, riders will be stopped by a self-contained unit at the foot of each slide. The slide color scheme is meant to match the newly-built splashpad and playground, just north of where the waterslide will be located. The height, bend and structure of the slide and tower are a result of local factors, such as seasonal considerations, maintenance resources, staffing levels and target audience. The slide is being built using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act and is part of the Utica Prosperity Initiative. The total cost of the slide, water recirculation unit, tower and sewage infrastructure is just shy of $1.5 million. It is the latest effort in the Mayor’s plan to make T.R. Proctor, along with Roscoe Conkling Park, a family-friendly play area that is accessible and fun for all of Utica’s residents. As part of the research for this project, the Mayor visited Watervliet, a city that recently installed a public waterslide that has become popular with residents and visitors – although Utica’s is cooler. It features several unique play features that have not been seen in the Utica area to date. The splashpad is part of an effort to upgrade several of the city’s park systems to allow for more outdoor recreation spaces that can be safely used by a wide-range of residents following lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic. Several of the recent improvements to local parks have been geared toward TR Proctor and FT Proctor Parks to make a destination recreation area. Some of these improvements include:
A new dog park at the east end of the park
A new skatepark at TR Proctor Park
A new parking lot adjacent to Buckley Pool
A new waterslide near Buckley Pool.
A new pavilion at F.T. Proctor Park.
More accessible pathways throughout the park system.
Mayor Robert M. Palmieri said: “The waterslide we’re building is going to give all of our residents access to something that will create memories that will last lifetimes. Children, families and visitors will all remember the times they had plunging into the water to beat the heat. We want to have the best park system in the entire state. With our recent investments, including this new way for residents to cool off, Utica will be more fun, more sustainable and more enjoyable for people from all over. I ask the residents to help us get the most out of these improvements by using all equipment properly and with care.” Councilman Frank Meola said: “I commend the Mayor and the administration for investing in families and in our parks. As a councilmember, I hear constantly, that we need to provide more things for people to do and enjoy in our city, and we’re delivering on those requests. I can’t wait to see families with children of all abilities enjoy our new waterslide.”