Time for Columbia’s kids to get excited—SplashDown is reopening this month. The two 40-foot high, 360-foot long swirling slides will re-open on March 24, according to Columbia Association spokesperson Kelly Cooper.
Cooper said the reopening is being celebrated with a free SplashDown Bash event from 1 to 6 p.m. on March 24.
The slides, which last operated in May of 2011, were shut down indefinitely after an August safety inspection found structural issues in the stairs tower, according to an article in Explore Howard.
In September, the plans to make repairs on the tower by a vote of 8-0. At the time several residents urged the board to make repairs to save SplashDown, which opened in 1986.
The current work on the stairs tower consists of the replacement of seven flights of stairs and six stair landings, according to Cooper. The new stairs are concrete-filled metal pans and solid metal risers, similar to the old ones. Both the new stair assembly and the supporting steel structure are being painted with a product that has corrosion resistant properties, wrote Cooper in an email.
The project would be completed on March 15 and the total cost was just under $80,000, wrote Cooper.
She said there are no plans at this time to replace the tubes on the slides, which may have to be replaced in the coming years.
In the past, SplashDown has been voted the Favorite Place to have a Party by Maryland Family magazine and one of the Top 10 Things to Do in the Washington Area by the Washington Post, according to the Columbia Association’s website.