Work begins on Queen Creek splash pad, dog park

Construction is under way on two new recreation facilities that could be open as soon as June.

They are the Pocket Park for Pups and Queen Creek Splash Pad. Both are next to the Queen Creek Town Hall.

The dog park is being built south of the town hall, 22350 S. Ellsworth Road, on a town-owned 1-acre site, according to a flier available online on the town’s parks and recreation page.

The off-leash park will consist of two separate grass play areas — one for small dogs and one for larger dogs, Adam Robinson, recreation manager for the Queen Creek Parks and Recreation Department, told the Independent in January.

The other is a splash pad in Founders Park, 22407 S. Ellsworth Road, across the street from the town hall.

In January, the splash pad was still in the design stage, according to Mr. Robinson. Since then, plans for the multi-feature water recreation venue have been chosen, Mr. Robinson said during a phone interview April 3.

The splash pad will offer a number of standard water features such as three 3-gallon water buckets that will fill and spill water every 15 seconds, squirter jets, two water cannons and a 10-foot-tall umbrella off which water will cascade, Brett Ferguson, co-owner of Splash Zone LLC, the company building the splash pad, said during a phone interview April 3.

The centerpiece of the park will be a water tower that was designed especially for the Queen Creek facility, Mr. Ferguson said.

On top of the water tower roof will sit a 30-gallon bucket that will pour water down the roof line in all directions, Mr. Ferguson said.

The look of the stainless-steel structure is still being mulled over, Mr. Ferguson said.

“We haven’t decided if the legs of the tower should have more of an industrial look but we’re going for a farming community look like silo because of Queen Creek’s history of farming,” he said.

The water tower will have a special feature that is being kept a secret until the park opens, Mr. Robinson said.

About one-third of the 4,200-square-foot pad has been designed for toddlers, Mr. Ferguson said. That area, on the south side of the park, will have nine bubblers and three mini mushrooms that will stand 4 to 5 feet tall; water will cascade off them, Mr. Ferguson said.

Water will be reclaimed in a 2,500-gallon underground cistern, where it will be filtered with a chlorination system and recycled, Mr. Ferguson said.

Last week, members of the Splash Zone crew began digging the footings for the splash pad water features and setting the forms for the splash pad area, Brett Ferguson, co-owner of the company, said during a phone interview April 3. About eight Splash Zone employees are working on the project, Mr. Ferguson said.

“Most of our employees live in Queen Creek so it’s nice to build a splash pad in our backyard,” he said.

It will take several weeks for the company to set the forms for the splash pad area and install the plumbing before concrete can be poured for the pad, he said.

Mr. Robinson hopes to have the parks open by late spring; however, in March, the Queen Creek Town Council approved an additional $120,000 in funding for the park amenities, Mr. Robinson said. Additional time is needed to manufacture and ship the upgrades, he said.

About 15 percent of the added funding will pay to upgrade the fence material from chain-link to decorative wrought iron for around the splash pad, Mr. Robinson said during a phone interview April 3.

A small portion of the remaining 85 percent will pay to also upgrade the fence material around the dog park to wrought iron. The bulk of the money will pay to upgrade the lighting poles at the dog park so they match others in the town center, Mr. Robinson said.

The original budget for each park was $125,000, Mr. Robinson told the Independent in January.

Most of the work on the dog park is being handled by town staff, Mr. Robinson said. Projects such as demolition and environmental services were contracted out, he said.

The dog park will be enclosed by a fence, which will have a double-gate entry; another fence will separate the two sections inside the park, Mr. Robinson said in January. Inside the fence on the east, south and west sides of the fence will be a border of decomposed granite for benches, he said.

The park will have drinking fountains for dogs and people and will be lighted, Mr. Robinson said.

Mr. Robinson did not anticipate this year’s celebration of the town’s 25th anniversary of incorporation will play a major role in the opening of the facilities but he did believe a plaque or other signage could mark the occasion, he said.

“We want residents to associate the parks with the town’s future as much as its past,” Mr. Robinson said.

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