Spray park may open up later

Turner Valley: Anticipation grows as new facility nears completion

By: By Ian Tennant

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014 04:23 pm

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The Foothills Lions Club Family Spray Park in Turner Valley may be a bit behind schedule but the final goal is so close Barry Crane can almost feel the refreshing water on a hot day.

“I’d love to say it’s on schedule,” said Crane, chairman of the spray park’s committee and a town councillor.

But, he added confidently, the goal is still to open the park “by the end of summer at this point.”

Crane said there is no major issue slowing down construction of the 31,200 square-foot spray park east of the Dr. Lander Memorial Swimming Pool, just minor challenges to overcome.

For example, the contractor had to remove eight feet of topsoil instead of the previously planned four feet, adding a couple days to the schedule.

“It’s really just regular, run-of-the mill stuff,” said Crane.

Volunteers have been working on pre-fabricating the mechanical room so it’s been a challenge co-ordinating holidays among those workers, Crane added, but after the concrete pad is poured the walls can go up immediately and that should buy some time.

Crane added, however, that the Lions Club, the town and non-profit spray park committee may consider not opening the park later this summer or early fall if it is only in operation for a week or so. He would rather the facility, which will cost nearly a half-million dollars, be built properly than rapidly.

“There’s no sense in rushing for a week of playtime,” he said.

Still, the anticipation — especially during hot temperatures like this week — of frolicking around in a spray park is palpable in the small community.

Crane said kids enjoying the Dr. Lander pool “are literally clinging on to the fence” watching workers build the spray park.

Among the facility’s features will be three water cannons and a “piano” where a kid can step on a “key” to produce a musical note while being sprayed by water.

“It’s going to be awesome,” said a giddy Crane, who along with other volunteers has been working on the project for at least two years.

Turner Valley is still dealing with water restrictions in the aftermath of the June 2013 flood that knocked out Black Diamond’s water treatment plant, resulting in Turner Valley supplying both communities. The town had previously budgeted funds to buy water for the spray park, and the pool, just in case water restrictions affected a possible opening date for the park.

But Crane notes the spray park has a 4,000-gallon holding tank — he calls it “the submarine” — buried underground that will help the facility recycle 75 to 85 per cent of its water. It could easily be filled by rainwater, he added, negating the need to truck in water.

The Lions Club will eventually turn over the spray park to the Town to be managed.

On June 16, the Town kicked in $125,000 from its recreation budget to the spray park project, a contribution Crane said was crucial to get construction underway.

“It’s been a huge, huge effort but the Town of Turner Valley has come through for us,” said Crane.

“It’s massive for the community,” Crane said of the facility he expects could be a tourist draw, if not a go-to place for young families moving into the area.


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