Almost one year to the day it opened, the Queen Creek splash pad in Founders’ Park will close, but just temporarily.
The popular water attraction will be shut down Monday, June 29, through Thursday, July 2, and from Monday, July 6, through Thursday, July 9, while the town of Queen Creek installs four new shade structures, according to the town’s website.
The splash pad will be open over the Fourth of July weekend.
Town officials had hoped to install the structures prior to the attraction’s opening in April; however, the process to approve the design and keep it under budget took longer than expected, Adam Robinson, the town’s recreation superintendent, said during a phone interview.
“We ran into issues with designs and costs. It took us a while to determine how much of the project we could do in-house to get the budget down to what the council had approved and that pushed us into the open season,” Mr. Robinson said.
The town has received some complaints on its Facebook page about the closure during the summer; however, Mr. Robinson felt closing on weekdays for the two weeks was a necessity.
“We could hold off until the end of the season, or we could lose a couple of weekdays, get the shade structures in and people be able to enjoy them for the rest of the season,” Mr. Robinson said. “The record-high temperatures we’ve been experiencing lately are proof we made the right decision to give our residents much-needed shade.”
The total budget for the project is $236,000. It includes four shade structures, tables and seating, a new sidewalk to link the splash pad with the bathrooms and improved drainage.
The structures were designed by Phoenix-based J2 Engineering and Environmental Design. They were fabricated by Classic Recreation Systems of Dewey, Arizona, and will be installed by ExerPlay Inc. of Tempe.
The town is happy with the number of people who use the splash pad, Mr. Robinson said.
“We’re getting about 500 people a day throughout the day,” he said. “It is by far the highest-used amenity of all our parks aside from the baseball field.”
In addition, the town is pleased the splash pad provides the community with a place to come to and be active together when residents normally would not be outside, Mr. Robinson said.
“Plus, it creates a huge open area for small children to participate in free play,” he said. “Watch the kids play. They’re getting together and making up their own play and games, they’re letting their imaginations run wild.”
The splash pad opened July 5 of last year in Founders’ Park, 22407 S. Ellsworth Road, across the street from the Queen Creek Town Hall. It is a permanent, multi-feature water recreation venue built on a 4,000-square-foot pad. Its water features include a number of water buckets, squirter jets, two water cannons and a 10-foot-tall umbrella off which water cascades. Its centerpiece is a water tower with an exposed 30-gallon bucket that pours water down the roof line in all directions. Hidden inside the tower is a 90-gallon bucket that dumps water out through holes cut into the bottom of the tower about two to three times and hour without warning.
Splash pad hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily through Aug. 31, at which time they will change to 10 a.m.-6 p.m. during September and October, according to the town’s website. Admission is free.
This summer, members of the Queen Creek Parks and Recreation department staff are on-site to answer questions residents might have about parks and rec programs, Mr. Robinson said. Security is provided by park rangers who regularly visit the area; the local office of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is across the street, he said.
The splash pad cannot be reserved or rented, Mr. Robinson said. People may bring their own pop-up canopies and food to set up on the grass surrounding the pad, he said.
For more information, visit the town’s website or call 480-480-358-3700. The town’s offices are open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday. They are closed Friday and on major holidays.