City Splash Pad back on track

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

City Splash Pad back on trackParks and Recreation Director Jason Patin (left) gives an update on the Splash Pad progress to Councilwoman Lindsey Stephens. — Photo by Laura Austin

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After a series of delays that stalled construction of the city’s splash pad, currently under way at Freedom Park behind Ridgecrest City Hall, the project is back on track and scheduled for completion this fall.

According to Jason Patin, parks and recreation director at the city of Ridgecrest, the project was originally scheduled for completion by the end of 2017.

The first hangup occurred when the design expert parted company with the contractor hired to build the outdoor water park.

“I have no idea what prompted the personnel change, I just know that he was no longer there and the owner was trying to manage the project himself and couldn’t,” said Patin.

The project then ran into several permitting issues, which arose when the public works staff reviewed plans and caught items that needed to be addressed.

“All of these things ended up causing delays,” said Patin.

Eventually, the contractor hired a consultant to complete the project, “and as of Monday we were back to work again. It’s been frustrating for everyone. I get it,” said Patin, but the city was compelled to wait for the contractor to resolve the issue.

He said that except for the inconvenience, the city was not saddled with any extra expense caused by the delay.

“We’ve had a whole bunch of inquiries about the splash pad,” said Patin. “People seem anxious to see it open. Disappointed, but understanding about the delays.

The installation of the splash pad, which will include water features, shade and seating, is part of the Freedom Park Improvement Project aimed at turning the city’s centrally located park into a community gathering point.

The splash pad will also have a red, white and blue theme, in keeping with Freedom Park’s patriotic focus.

“The goal right now is to try and support the effort and make sure we keep moving forward with no further delay. It’s been a frustrating process, but in the end we are going to have a great product that’s good for the community.”

He said that the contractor estimates that the project will be completed within 30 to 60 days. “So, best case scenario, we are looking at being finished by the beginning of September.”

Meanwhile, the city is also in discussions with local community groups in hopes of finding an affordable solution to reopen Pinney Pool. See related story, this edition.

Story First Published: 2018-08-03