The splash pad at Yelm City Park has Yelmites in a state of anticipation, with some hoping the new water feature will be open by Prairie Days, June 28-30.

Project manager Pat Hughes said that while the splash pad is coming along, it won’t likely be ready for use by the time the festival rolls around.

“The construction of the splash pad will be complete by Prairie Days, but that doesn’t mean it will be ready for use the next day,” Hughes said.

Splash Pad

The new playground at Yelm City Park dwarfs the old one, by comparison.

The project is being treated like a public pool would be, and the city of Yelm is working with the county health department on permitting, testing, chlorinating, pressurizing and pumping, along with the training of certified water operators, before the splash pad can open, he said.

It could take a week or two, maybe more, after construction is finished before people can use this newest addition to the park.

“The project could very well be complete by Prairie Days,” said Andrew Kollar City of Yelm communications specialist. “Construction at Yelm City Park on the splash pad and the playground are progressing rapidly. Our public works team and contractors have been working hard to get the features open as soon as possible with a big push to have it open by Prairie Days if at all possible.

Indeed, Yelm City Administrator Michael Grayum said in a recent meeting with the city council that he’s been on the phone with Thurston County doing everything he can to expedite the process.

“It is going to be extremely popular,” Hughes said. “I’ve been getting calls about when it will open all the time.”

Recent construction on the project includes the installation of reinforced steel and the underground electrical system. As of June 13, half the blue concrete that will form the pad’s base had been poured. The main water features are set for installation starting Monday, June 17, weather permitting.

While the splash pad may not be ready for use by Prairie Days, the new playground will be up and running soon after June 26, when the engineered rubber “wood chips” will be blown in around the structure. However, weather and contractor scheduling have the capability of postponing the playground’s opening, Hughes said.

Since there is new sod on the perimeter of the playground, the city will put up a fence between it and the fresh layer of grass to protect its investment in the days after the playground’s opening.

“This new playground is so much nicer than the one we tore out,” Hughes said.

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