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Jackson's splash pad aims to open Memorial Day 2020

A few setbacks have delayed the project, but with a new location and fundraising nearly complete, the Splash'n Jackson committee is gearing up to break ground.

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This rendering created by Vortex shows a depiction of how the new Jackson Splash Pad will look when complete on the Jackson County Central's property near the softball fields. (Vortex)

JACKSON — Despite a few setbacks that put Jackson’s splash pad behind its goal, project completion is now in sight for the Splash’n Jackson splash pad committee.

Having nearly met their updated $340,000 fundraising goal, the committee is moving forward, with splash pad parts arriving sometime next month.

“We’re really excited to be at the point we’re going to start seeing some progress,” said Splash’n Jackson Committee Member Kristy Thurmer. “It’s a really exciting time for us.”

The approximately 3,000-square-foot zero-depth seasonal fun will be built on Jackson County Central property near the high school’s softball fields. Once complete, the city of Jackson will assume future maintenance of the pad.

According to Thurmer, minor construction is slated to begin this fall, with the majority occurring in spring. The goal is to have the splash pad operational by Memorial Day weekend.

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Vortex Aquatic Structures is designing the splash pad, which will be erected by Hulstein Excavating from Edgerton.

Activated by a button, water will flow through the splash pad for a set period of time, before requiring activation again. Water will be sprayed from the ground and pumped through various structures and dumped from above.

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This rendering created by Vortex depicts what Jackson's new splash pad will look like in action. (Vortex)

The Splash’n Jackson committee began fundraising in 2017 and had hoped to get it completed within a year, Thurmer said. Fundraising and a location change from its original planned site within Memorial Park caused the setback.

Flooding issues at Memorial Park and learning the property was a designated wetland led to the location change.

“The actual location of the splash pad (at the park) did not flood, but the bathrooms and parking lot we would have used did,” she said, noting flooding issues in the park the past couple of years. “Even though it was an extremely rainy season, we couldn’t build it there knowing the potential of people not being able to use it as much as we wanted them to.”

While it delayed the project, the committee is excited about the school location. Central to Jackson, the splash pad will be located near a walking/biking trail and at an area bustling with activity — from routine softball games, a nearby playground and the school’s indoor swimming pool. The committee will add park benches and contribute funds to make minor updates to the bathrooms and make the infrastructure Americans with Disability Act compliant.

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“From the beginning of this project we’ve approached it that it will be accessible to anyone,” Thurmer said. “It doesn’t matter your age or ability. That’s really important to us.”

A combination of grant funding and business and individual contributions will make the splash pad possible, Thurmer said.

“We’re so thankful for all the grants and the community, how everyone has come together over the last two and a half years to make it happen,” Thurmer said.

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