Bluefield awarded additional grant funding future city park splash pad


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — More grant funding arrived Tuesday for a project aimed at adding a splash pad to all the opportunities for recreation at Lotito Park in Bluefield.

The Bluefield Board of Directors approved a resolution during its Tuesday meeting to accept a $211,000 grant from the National Park Service Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Director Rick Showalter with the Bluefield Parks and Recreation Department that said the splash pad is being designed and that the Community Foundation of the Virginias is accepting donations for the project and amenities that will go with it.

"That money is going to the whole project," Showalter said. "So imagine restrooms, concession stands, fencing that would go around to secure that area, seating areas, shade area structures, that kind of stuff. That all is going to continue to add up as we keep adding, as we keep having money to come in."

The Hugh I. Shott Jr. Foundation has contributed $422,000 to the splash pad, he said. This May, Bluefield Parks and Recreation could learn whether a $250,000 American Water grant for the splash pad has been approved.

"If all that is continuing to develop as we finalized the design and all the amenities and everything," Showalter said. "We're in a pretty good timeframe here because we're looking at construction in the spring of 2025 and opening in the summer of 2025."

While the new splash pad will not open until next year, there are plans to finish a new playground at Lotito Park in time for summer.

"As I mentioned in the board meeting just now, we are hoping to be open Memorial Day weekend," Showalter said. "We've had some rain delays and also some issues where we had to get the groundwater figured out with the water lines and the piping and all that to get the gravity flow out of there, but it's a low-lying area next to the creek there. It stays moist all the time."

The company contracted to erect the playground is scheduled to start on May 6. The whole process is expected to take around three weeks, he said.

Local students are working on names for the new playground, Showalter said.

Homerooms vote for possible names, and then schools as a whole vote on names.

The top names will be brought to the city board for consideration. Area students will be invited to the playground's ribbon cutting ceremony later this spring.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

Contact Greg Jordan at