MERCER – Brandy Springs Park is gaining a splash pad but losing a pool.

Construction of a new splash pad at the park is going full bore. But the park’s board voted to nix attempts at reviving its swimming pool, which has been closed for years.

“It was a painful vote for all of us,’’ Nichole Ryan, a park board member said.

When told estimated costs for restoring the pool could hit up to $500,000, the board had little choice, Ryan said.

“It was a budget buster,’’ she said.

Bob Perrine, a Mercer borough councilman, agreed with the decision.

“All of its equipment is shot,’’ Perrine said of the pool.

The three remaining public, outdoor pools in Mercer County are the Lackawannock-Shenango-West Middlesex Community Pool in West Middlesex, the Buhl Park pool in Hermitage and the community pool in Grove City Memorial Park.

Like Buhl Park, Brandy Springs is privately owned and is governed by a non-profit organization with its own board.

But Mercer borough is pitching in. The park lies in the southwest corner of the borough.

The community landed a $200,000 state grant for the splash pad project requiring a $100,000 match from the park, Debbie Sarvis, the borough’s administrator said. There’s still a roughly $50,000 shortfall for the project, she said.

“The hope was to get some voluntary skilled labor donated,’’ Sarvis said. “But there wasn’t enough volunteers to complete the project that way.’’

Reviewing ways to trim costs are underway. And Perrine, who retired from the construction industry, is volunteering his expertise.

“I was in Florida recently and visited three spray parks to get some ideas,’’ he said.

Utilities and other operating equipment installation are the bulk of the remaining work, Ryan said.

“The park has well water that just isn’t suitable to be used with the splash pad,’’ she said. “So we’re looking to connect into Aqua Pennsylvania water lines.’’ Aqua is the private water company that serves Mercer.

Splash pads go by a variety of names including spray ground, rain deck and spray zone. Brandy Springs’ version is circular, 41 feet in diameter.

Most of these playful pads use water in one of two ways:

Conventional – Water is fed into a pad and only used once. The water drains out, usually into a sewer system.

Recirculating – Water is recirculated. Pipes drain the sprayed water into a tank, which is typically underground. Water is then filtered, disinfected with chemicals such as chlorine, then pumped back into the pad.

The city Farrell reached a different conclusion with its proposed splash pad.

With the backing of its council, the city is looking to create a $385,000 splash pad at Veterans Square. American Rescue Plan Act federal money fund 80 percent, with the remainder provided by the city.

After his research, City Manager Ben Prescott said he’s recommending the conventional water method.

“There’s a lot more costs in recycling because there’s strict monitoring requirements where you have to regularly test the water,’’ Prescott said.

Even going with the conventional method and other expenses, it’s going to cost the city $40,000 annually to operate, he said.

“No matter which route you go, these splash pads are expensive to operate,’’ Prescott said.

Sam Winger, a Brandy Springs board member, said he’s excited about the splash pad. But he’s sorry to see the pool go.

“I spent a lot of time as a kid in that pool,’’ Winger said. “I’m going to miss it.’’

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