CHURCH HILL — The forecast for Friday is hot and sunny, but Church Hill will have the answer for parents looking for a place to keep their kids cool.

Everyone is invited to attend a ribbon cutting and grand opening for Church Hill’s splash pad at Derrick Park on Friday at 9 a.m., after which the new attraction will be open to all.

The structure, which was designed and installed by Vortex Aquatic Structures International, is 1,963 square feet and includes in-ground and above-ground “water shooting” features.

The structure is also ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.

Church Hill’s new splash pad is the first of several upgrades planned this year for Derrick Park, which is located on Ordnance Drive behind the Food City store.

The half-million dollar project also includes new picnic shelters, an amphitheater, playground sets for ages 2-5 and 5-12, and an ADA accessible swing set.

The splash pad’s much-anticipated grand opening is both early and late.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Church Hill was planning an opening date in early June. Work was delayed due to the pandemic, and the grand opening was later estimated around early August.

Construction of the splash pad itself was actually completed in late June.

City officials delayed the grand opening to install sidewalks and benches around the splash pad and allow freshly planted sod time to get established.

Last month, the Church Hill Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved bids to purchase two sets of new playground equipment, two new prefabricated picnic shelters and a prefabricated outdoor amphitheater for concerts.

Bliss Products and Services, based in Lithia Springs, Georgia, won all four bids.

The toddler playground, which is called The Kiddie Crawl, came in at $15,865; the older child playground, called The Katherine, came in at $25,875, which includes the addition of a roof over the slides; the two new picnic shelters came in at $15,270; and the half-hexagon band shell came in at $14,010.

New playground equipment has been ordered, and delivery isn’t expected before fall.

The ADA-accessible swing sets were purchased in January.

In May, the BMA agreed to borrow $500,000 to pay for Derrick Park improvements, with $280,000 of that covering the cost of the splash pad.

Aside from the playground, shelters and band shell, the city also purchased property from the adjacent VFW for the purpose of creating additional parking on the west side of the park.

A new bridge is also planned over the creek on the west side of the park, as well as a a new flagpole with lighting to be located in front of the restroom facilities.