Canby residents have been waiting years for the city’s first splash pad, and though the project is happening, they will have to wait a few more months.
Originally set for completion by Memorial Day, then July Fourth, then later in July, the splash pad has been pushed back yet again. City officials are now eyeing a tentative completion date by the end of August.
Whether the new play area will actually be allowed to open at that time is — like the water that may or may not be flowing through the project’s spray fountains sometime this year — up in the air, and will depend on what state and county health guidelines are in effect at that time to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
But there’s a good chance that the splash pad will be able to open, assuming the tri-county area of Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah counties are approved to enter phase 2 of the governor’s reopening plan by then.
Outdoor playgrounds, including splash pads, may reopen to the public in counties approved for phase 2. And though the Portland metro area may not be cleared for the second phase on the first day it becomes eligible — July 10 — it’s unlikely that such approval would be delayed six weeks or more.
Interim City Administrator Amanda Zeiber said construction — which was to start this month — got hung up in design and permitting delays, as city and county government offices have attempted to navigate the retirements of key personnel as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Final design was approved by the city four months after the original scheduled date, so permitting was then delayed by four months, and so on,” Zeiber said in an email. “Covid-19 has also added delays to Clackamas County plan review for permits, and shop drawings took a full month (instead of the typical week) right as the pandemic began.”
The city and its contractor on the project have also had trouble acquiring the needed equipment and materials to build the splash pad and the new gazebo structure that will accompany it.
At this point, they expect to receive the splash pad features by July 21, and have them installed and operational by the first week of August. The gazebo materials should arrive by Aug. 14 and take approximately a week to build.
The project will follow a nature theme in line with Canby’s rep at the “Garden Spot,” with sprayers and other elements in the shape of grass, flowers and insects.
The budget is $475,000, financed through SDC (System Development Charge) funds, which are fees paid by developers to support increased capacity to city infrastructure such as streets, sewer, stormwater and parks.
The splash pad will be built in place of the tennis courts at Maple Street Park, which are to be rebuilt at a different location during the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
A covered seating area will be built between the new splash pad and the existing playground, so parents can keep an eye on their kids without getting wet, sweaty or sunburned.
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