The City of Hoover broke ground on the 22,000-square-foot, fully inclusive Explore playground and splash pad next door to the Hoover Metropolitan Complex.

The $2 million project, which is being funded through a public/private partnership, will be open to children and adults of all ages and abilities. The playground is expected to be completed in January 2019.

The 15,000-square-foot playground and 7,000-square-foot splash pad will have a universal design, meaning they will meet the needs of all people, including those with disabilities and mobility issues. The facility will also be sensory friendly for people with varying neurological abilities.

The playground will include a clubhouse; active and musical play areas; sensory components for people with sight and hearing impairments; two play structures—for ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 12; adaptive swings for people who use wheelchairs; accessible ramps; instruments with special mallets for easier gripping; and more. There will also be a zip line with one swing that has an adaptive seat for those with mobility devices. The splash pad will be next to the playground and will be fully inclusive so everyone can have access to the water features. There will also be an accessible walking track surrounding the area.

“It is inclusive, but the bigger thing is it’s universal,” says Hoover Parks and Rec Superintendent Dee Nance. “With that idea, it serves all people, all ages, all abilities.” The area will also include spaces to accommodate more than just play. There will be a completely accessible on-site restroom with an adult-sized changing table, to help families with members who are dependent on care.

Hoover Metropolitan Complex
100 Ben Chapman Drive
Hoover, AL 35244