Making a splash

Got a call today from Rob Goldman, the Columbia Association vice president, chief operating officer and longtime poobah when it comes to CA athletic facilities.

Referencing my column this week about the Splashdown water slide, he pointed out that there are more places for active indoor birthday parties in these parts than I let on. He's right, of course. There's the Shadowland laser tag place, which I've been to myself on more than one occasion (I'm just a kid; don't make me grow up), and EarthTreks, where youngsters can climb the walls without fear of reprisal.

The other place Goldman mentioned, which I didn't know about before, is Jump!Zone on Oakland Mills Road. It's a mondo moon bounce venue.

In fact, he told me, these places are a big reason for the decline in use at the Columbia Swim Center's Splashdown that was mentioned in my column and in news coverage about the CA board's decision to fund $120,000 worth of short-term repairs.

"People will call and say 'Jump!Zone was booked, so I'm calling you.' "

Does this mean Goldman wishes the CA board hadn't authorized the work on the Splashdown staircase? Well, he isn't about to second-guess the board, but the recommendation he had given them was to hold off on any decisions about Splashdown until completion of a comprehensive aquatics study, which is due in a couple of months.

To keep Splashdown structurally sound beyond the next couple of years will require hundreds of thousands more dollars. But now it would appear that the board is, as they say in poker, pot-committed. Or to use the old saw, "In for a penny, in for a pound."

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