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‘Best of The Globe 2018' now underway

Worthington breaks ground on splash pad

Members of Worthington Noon Kiwanis, Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation, city of Worthington, Worthington Chamber of Commerce and other organizations celebrate the splash pad groundbreaking Tuesday. (Karl Evers-Hillstrom / The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — Construction of Worthington’s splash pad is officially underway.

More than 40 community members gathered Tuesday at the construction site in Centennial Park to celebrate the groundbreaking of the project, which was spearheaded with vigorous support from Worthington organizations.

Worthington Noon Kiwanis started the push for a splash pad, raising more than $40,000 at the annual Deep Freeze Dip in January. With a $50,000 grant from the Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation and additional contributions, the community raised $112,272.27 toward the project.

The remaining $377,682 cost will be paid for with funds from the city of Worthington’s

Community Growth Fund, which was established by the Worthington City Council with $2.5 million in hospital sale proceeds in November.

“Everyone in the community came together — the health care foundation, Noon Kiwanis, Chad Cummings and the radio station and all of the other organizations that helped out,” Mayor Mike Kuhle said Tuesday. “I think people are going to use the heck out of it … and it’s free! This is such a great amenity for our community.”

The city expects Edgerton contractor Hulstein Excavating to have the project done by April 2019.

The 4,950-square-foot splash pad will feature a wet zone of 3,550 square feet, along with more than 30 different water features, including fountains, geysers, jetstreams and colorful, child-friendly, water-spraying accessories. It will have a water recycling system, along with a debris trap and rainwater diverter valve.

Splash pads are considered significantly safer than pools, as there is no risk of children drowning. They’re also considered easier to maintain and keep clean, as dirt and other contaminants drain away, and there’s no need for a lifeguard.

The splash pad will replace a set of playground equipment adjacent to the basketball courts in Centennial Park, but the city will purchase new equipment, moving the playground slightly to the northwest.

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