Located in Central, Florida, Tavares, “America’s Seaplane City,” wanted to revitalize it’s downtown area. The seaplane airport/gas station located on the adjacent Lake Dora had been completely renovated and officials wanted to add a showcase spraypark to the area. The park would also be a central showcase point for the annual Sea Plane Festival, held in the city.With all of that in mind, plans for the spraypark at Wooten Park began to take shape.
Completed in 2009, the entire project was custom designed by Rain Drop Products, which came up with a sea plane-themed design. The central element is the Rain Plane feature, designed to be a replica of the sea planes that use the local airport.
The Rain Plane is complete with working propellers and lights, and even the Cool Tails splash water onto the propellers as they turn to create the effect of splashing down into the water. Everything about it was customized to match the theme of the city — from the colors to custom decals including Tavares’ designation as “America’s Seaplane City.”
All other spraypark elements are aquatic-themed in nature, further tying the project into the waterfront Wooten Park location on Lake Dora. The deck of the splash pad — designed to look like water, with alligator and fish head spray features — was coated with multicolored Tuffcoat nonslip coating, for aesthetic and safety reasons.
The splash park was the first phase of an $8 million upgrade project in Wooten Park, which also included an 83-slip marina, ship’s store modeled after the historic Woodlea House, new sea plane ramp, fueling facilities for seaplanes and boats, and a custom LED lighting and sound system that illuminates the surrounding canopy of live oaks. Further adding to the area is a recreation of the historic Tavares Pavilion, an over-water, 2-story community gathering place, currently under design as an ideal venue for weddings and other special conferences and events.
As a result of the renovations, the downtown area and businesses have seen a huge increase in traffic and revenue, one indication that the entire design has been a splashing success.
NUTS & BOLTS
Aquatic space: 50 square feet
Dream amenities: Custom Rain Plane play structure, other aquatic play features.
- Dream Designer: Rain Drop Products
- Architect (equipment building/picnic pavilion): Blaise,Fiebach & Associates
- Engineer: Booth, Ern, Straughan & Hiott Inc.
- Landscape Architect: Michael Pape & Associates Inc.
- Astral Pool: UV disinfection system, filtration / recirculation system equipment
- Beacon Products: Seating, site furniture
- BECS Technology: Chemical control unit
- Brock Enterprises: Swim diaper dispenser
- Jerith Manufacturing: Fencing
- Pentair Water Commercial Pool and Aquatics: Pumps
- Rain Drop Products: Water-play equipment