Thanks to unseasonably warm temperatures Monday, the grand opening of Lexington’s first permanent sprayground in Masterson Station Park drew a large and enthusiastic crowd of kids and parents.
The sprayground includes a variety of water features, such as water canons, spray nozzles and buckets. Residents of the city’s northwest side have long complained about the lack of public pools or water features there.
Masterson Station Park, off of Leestown Road, has no pool but is surrounded by one of the state’s largest neighborhoods.
The sprayground is the first of four permanent spraygrounds planned for Lexington. The others are planned for Jacobson, Douglass and Castlewood parks. Those three spraygrounds are expected to open next summer. Lexington decided to open the Masterson Station sprayground this fall because it was completed and higher-than-average temperatures would allow the public to try the new water feature, city officials said.
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Open to all ages and free to the public, it will operate from 9 a.m. to dusk thru mid-October on days when temperatures are above 70 degrees. Spraygrounds can stay open longer than the city’s pools, which typically close on Labor Day. Many cities are now moving to spraygrounds because they are cheaper to maintain than pools.
The spraygrounds are part of a much larger effort to update the city’s aquatics program. Since 2015, the city has spent more than $2.5 million on upgrades and other improvements.