East Topeka Spray Park To Remain Dry For Several More Weeks, Park Officials Say

By: Giang Nguyen Email
By: Giang Nguyen Email

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Summer came early and the heat was bearing down Topeka Wednesday. But a new water spray park at Samuel Jackson Park, made just for a day like today, was empty and dry as a dessert.

A couple of neighborhood children tried to push the button that activates the cooling water features, but from the candy cane spray to the arch and the mushroom sprays, all refused to provide relief.

The spray park opened in May of last year to much excitement, but over the winter, it stopped functioning and Shawnee County Parks and Recreation officials had to delay opening it.

Parks director Terry Bertels said Parks and Rec went through a merger and lot of changes recently, and to complicate matters, the company that built the spray park, Vanum Construction, went out of business.

"From the merger standpoint, we're a really smaller group of people trying to..at one time," Bertels said. "From this perspective on this spray park, there are some small things that need to be repaired and some of that learning curve that needs to go on," he said.

He said Parks and Rec was able to work with the designer of the spray park to troubleshoot some of the issues, which he said were minor mechanical problems. The main focus is to get everybody on the same page, he said, in getting the system started up.

Area children said they got excited when workers came by Wednesday morning and briefly turned on the water.

"Since I live close, I come here to play, so I thought I was gonna play today," 9-year-old Marisa Munoz said. "But it broke... It might be fixed tomorrow," she added hopefully.

Bertels said he doesn't have a firm date as to when the water will be up and running, but he says relief could come in just a matter of a few weeks.


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