It’s Splasheville, and we’re not talking about the rain

For about the past three weeks, crews working on the new Pack Square Park have been testing Asheville’s newest water fountain, an interactive water feature in the heart of the $20 million downtown park.

Donna Clark, spokeswoman for the nonprofit Pack Square Conservancy that has been overseeing construction of the park, says workers are testing various programs for the fountain’s “waterplay” until park officials decide on exactly what they want. On Thursday, the fountain featured arcing sprays of water in an alternating pattern that splashed plenty of water.

The fountain is named Splasheville. Clark says the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority bought the rights to name the fountain, as well as two other park features, after making three monetary gifts to the conservancy totaling $2.5 million. “We are grateful” to the TDA for its support, Clark says.

“We think it’s a perfect name because it conjures up the notion of water and the nice sound a fountain makes, and because it evokes the spirit of the park and the community: fun, playfulness, and the charm of natural elements. Also, of course, it’s a play on the word Asheville,” Clark says.

The fountain will be turned on from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. once it’s fine-tuned, Clark says. The new, circular fountain on Pack Square designed by Asheville artist Hoss Haley is on from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. Both fountains will be turned off on Nov. 1 for the winter.

— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor




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16 thoughts on “It’s Splasheville, and we’re not talking about the rain

  1. hauntedheadnc


    Now, if they’d just get the urban trail stations back in place…

    This park isn’t worth what we paid for it, nor was it worth the time it has taken to build it, but it’s a damn sight better than what was there before, that’s for certain. I’m thrilled with what’s been built and planted. I just wish they could have done it in the time and with the budget they originally quoted.

  2. The urban trails stations are on their way.

    FYI – the UT is under the Public Art Board – not the Pack Sq Conservancy, but obviously the PAB had to wait until the PSC has cleared out in order to place them again.
    I hear the first station is going to look super-primo once it’s back in place. I’m very enthusiastic about this all coming to completion.

    And to be fair, a lot of that money for the park was donated or raised. Not much of the final amount came from the tax-payers.

  3. Piffy!

    oooh, a fountain. i bet people will come from miles around! AND it’s named with a silly, phonetically similar to asheville name? Ooooh, i can smell the tourism cash!

  4. hauntedheadnc

    Definitely, poofy. The grassy doormats and parking lots that were there before were much better. Did you ever consider that perhaps Ashevillians will use this park as much as, if not more than, the tourists?

    When the weather warms up again, that new fountain will be crawling with kids. That’s what it’s there for, actually. That fountain up in Pack Square itself that is [b]not[/b] there for kids to play on certainly was popular with them, so I imagine that this one that is there to be played in will be a huge hit.

  5. hauntedheadnc

    [i]‘grassy doormats’.

    i like that.[/i]

    Surely you’ve seen satellite photos of the old layout in City-County Plaza. The only things they were missing was “Welcome” spelled out in white impatiens.

  6. hauntedheadnc

    As always, Jenny, thanks for your input regarding the Urban Trail. I keep forgetting that you’re on the Public Art Board.

    Is there any timeline for when the statues will be returned? I miss them!

    What’s the story on the first station? As I recall, the only thing there in front of Pack Place were the donor bricks, and there was always a plan for putting an artwork there at the beginning. What sort of artwork will we be getting?

  7. @haunted –

    It should be soon. By the Spring I am sure. I missed the Sept meeting due to illness, but am looking forward to the October session.

    If you yourself were ever to consider it, I’d suggest getting on a board or commission of your interest. It is a great way for those who like to be informed to stay informed & have an impact at the same time. I think you’d be great at it.

  8. hauntedheadnc

    Jenny, let me know if there’s ever an opening on the public art board. That’s the one that most holds my interest.

  9. Ruth

    Wow you are kidding 2.5 million for the homeless to take a shower . Wished they would have just but that money to helping the poor and homeless instead of a fountain. Just can not beleive that cost 2.5 million and with all the people without jobs .

  10. GoodGrief

    Those homeless people must be pretty desperate to chance getting arrested for “taking a shower” in that fountain. And who are “all the people without jobs” Ruth? There are tons of jobs out there and places hiring if someone took the time and effort to look! Here, I’ll play clairvoyant too Ruth. In the future, I see lots of little kids, and families playing in the fountain, having great times and being happy. They have jobs, they spend money downtown, they might even live here. No one gives a damn how much was spent on it. They just know it’s there and it’s a good place full of peace and joy in our community. So HA!

  11. Economic Impact

    “2.5 million and with all the people without jobs . .. ”
    The $2.5 million for the fountain and “other park features” created jobs and employed people, just as any public works project does, with the money spent on material and labor percolating back through the local economy.

  12. Piffy!

    2.5 mil does seem like a lot, tho. just sayin. not that i really care either way. government isnt usual known for doing things, um, affordably.

    but yes, fountains are neat. yeah!

  13. Piffy!

    [b]Surely you’ve seen satellite photos of the old layout in City-County Plaza. The only things they were missing was “Welcome” spelled out in white impatiens. [/b]

    I haven’t seen any satalite photos, no. But i have, you know, seen city county plaza before, from the ground.

    Also, my name is not Shirley. It’s pfff. or dave.

  14. hauntedheadnc

    That’s a shame, Shirley, because when you looked at aerial photos, they really did look like doormats. The effect from the ground wasn’t the same, although you could definitely tell how piecemeal and jumbled the whole arrangement was when on foot.

    By the way… Do you like… [i]gladiator[/i] movies?

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