The splash pad at Yelm City Park opened to the public for the first time Friday afternoon. While initial visitors were giddy over the new play structure, city officials say they’re working to make adjustments that might affect operating times.
“Please be mindful, there will be intermittent closures for maintenance. We will use social media to keep you posted,” a post on the city’s Facebook page read. “So far, our water levels remain steady and the water quality remains the highest with a good balance of Chlorine and PH, thanks to our dedicated Public Works team.”
The splash pad is regularly open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
At precisely 2:15 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 2, the splash pad opened to the public.
Surrounded by Thurston County Public Health employees, who underwent four hours of tests that morning to make sure it was safe for the kids, Yelm Mayor JW Foster deemed the play place open after receiving approval from county employees.
Foster said he appreciates the public's patience throughout the process.
“The anticipation was killing us all. We wanted this done by the time of our major summer events … (but) we’ve never opened a splash pad in the city of Yelm,” Foster said. “We did it by scratch.”
Taking a break from repairing 5 acres of fencing on their farm, 43-year-old Shauna Kingsolver and her 3-year-old daughter, Shayla Kingsolver, took to the Yelm City Park Friday afternoon, not knowing the splash pad would be open.
“Shayla said ‘I wanna go to the big park,’” Shauna recalled. “It’s nice. And she loves the water, so I’m very happy, very glad.”
Vanessa Vantero, 31, her husband and three kids were also among the Yelmites who were just passing by and saw that the splash pad was open.
“We were driving by and we go, ‘there’s water!’” she said.
Jumping around the pad in his surfboard swim shorts, 3-year-old Silas Cantero declared his approval of the park:
“Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun,” he proclaimed.
The new splash pad and accompanied park includes a play gym structure, multiple swings, slides and the concrete pad with sprayers.
Most of the construction was finished by Prairie Days, but city officials were waiting on approval and water tests by the county health department.
The project is about a month behind opening schedule, but Foster said the splash pad project came in on budget at around $443,000.
The first splash pad-goers arrived at around 2:30 p.m., Foster said.
For more information on closures, visit the City of Yelm Facebook page.