The new change house

Splash park set to open next week

Three years after the idea was first brought to city council, Campbell River's brand-new splash park is set to open next weekend

Three years after the idea was first brought to city council, the brand-new splash park is set to open.

Eager Riverites will still have to wait just more than a week, but the water play park will officially open to the public a week from Saturday.

The splash park is slated to open June 15, with an event to mark the occasion from 11 a.m.- 1p.m. at Willow Point Park, just behind the Campbell River Sportsplex.

“June 15 has been set as the grand opening date for the Splash Park, and we can hardly wait,” said Patricia Gagnon, past president of the Rotary Club of Campbell River. “The splash park is another great example of community partners working together to provide a welcome addition to our city that people of all ages can enjoy.”

To celebrate the occasion, there will be a ribbon cutting, a barbecue concession, and entertainment to kick off the first ever splash park season.

The city’s newest attraction has been a long time coming since the Campbell River Rotary Club approached council with the concept in 2010.

Council gave final approval to the project in November of 2011 and after a long period of fundraising, the project broke ground last July, with construction getting underway shortly after.

The splash park includes several spray structures such as a mini fire hydrant, a small archway, and a hose element.

Its biggest draw is the big, black and white killer whale mega soaker – the first in B.C.

The mega soaker is a bowl-like structure that, once filled with water, tips over and douses anyone and everyone in the vicinity.

The park, which is located just below the tennis courts, beside the basketball court and across from the playground behind the Sportsplex, will be free of charge to use and be divided into three different sections – one for families, one for teens and one for toddlers.

Washroom and change room facilities are under construction near the splash park and designed to look similar to the nearby Sportsplex.

“The facilities will be right next to the splash park and fully accessible, with four family-style washroom/change rooms that will offer a toilet, wash basin, change tables and change area with bench and hooks,” said Lynn Wark, the city’s parks project supervisor.

The washrooms are being built by local contractor K & L Spooner Construction at a cost of $142,000, funded through the city’s parks parcel tax – a fee charged to each home owner to for parks improvements.

The splash park is a joint community project between the Noon Hour and Daybreak Rotary Clubs, the Campbell River Professional Firefighters Association, Telus, and the city. The two Rotary Clubs contributed $160,000 while the firefighters chipped in for $20,000. The city provided $75,000 through the parks parcel tax and will pick up the $30,000 annual operating tab. Telus contributed $123,200 toward the splash park through a campaign in which $100 was donated on behalf of each community member who signed up for Telus’ Optik TV last year.