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Splash Island to get climbing wall

Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 10:00 am

$17K upgrade set to open in time for summer


Erin McCullough


The Tullahoma Department of Parks and Recreation will spend nearly $17,000 on a climbing wall to be added to Splash Island, the city’s outdoor water park.

During its March 13 meeting, the Tullahoma Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously to approve the purchase of the new outdoor activity equipment for the water park before it opens its 2017 season.

According to Parks and Recreation Director Kurt Glick, the department received four bids for the project, with the winning bid coming from Great Southern Recreation, a Murfreesboro-based play equipment company.

J.P. Kraft, left, City of Tullahoma Parks and Recreation Department aquatics operations manager, and Jon Neal, program coordinator, stand near the location where the upcoming Kersplash Climbing Wall will be located at the Splash Island Water Park.
–Staff Photo by Chris Barstad

Their bid for a Kersplash brand climbing wall comes at a price tag of $16,795 and a two-year warranty.

The other bids came from Pyramide USA, Inc., Duffield Aquatics, Inc. and Recreonics, Inc. for $16,514, $19,054.99 and $16,626.94, respectively.

When Alderman Ray Knowis questioned why the bid that was nearly $169 more expensive was the one chosen for the city, Glick came to the podium to explain the benefits of the chosen bid.

“There (were) two different companies that manufacture the climbing walls. One was AquaClimb and the other was Kersplash. The Kersplash wall is a lot better quality to us,” he said.

“The framework is made of a different material. It is low carbon stainless steel, whereas the AquaClimb is high carbon stainless steel.”

Glick explained that when his staff had the opportunity to see an AquaClimb wall in the field, they were not impressed with how the structure was holding up.

“The walls from AquaClimb were actually rusting, and the Kersplash wall wasn’t rusting,” he said.

Another factor in choosing the GSR bid with the Kersplash wall was the customizability of their product.

“The Kersplash wall is custom-made, or it is made for the exact water depth of our pool, whereas the AquaClimb—you have to modify it to meet the requirements of the pool,” he said.

Glick said that the extra $169 price tag was worth it for the city, as the GSR bid included a two-year warranty on the wall, which is double the warranty provided by Recreonics, Inc.

Glick added that the parks and recreation department has prior experience working with GSR, so they felt more confident in the service provided by them as opposed to Recreonics, Inc.

“We have experience dealing with the company that provided that bid,” he said.

The height of the wall, which is “governed by the depth of the pool for a safe fall zone,” will be 8 feet, according to Glick.

After Knowis joked that he wanted to make sure it was safe for Mayor Curlee to use, all seven members of the board voted to approve the purchase.

The money for the project reportedly will come from the original Splash Island renovation budget, according to Glick, so the city coffers will not be affected by it.

Erin McCullough may be reached via email at tnrept09@lcs.net.