Fayette County

Downtown splash park opening delayed

Pads to be used in the SplashJam water feature in Northeastern Park awaited installation Friday.
Pads to be used in the SplashJam water feature in Northeastern Park awaited installation Friday. spompeii@herald-leader.com

UPDATE: Officials say a planned opening of a new downtown Lexington splash park has been delayed until next week.

Originally, the pop-up splash park was supposed to open Saturday in time for Lexington’s July Fourth celebration. Now officials say the opening will happen sometime next week.

The temporary splash pad, at Northeastern Park, directly behind Thoroughbred Park, will have 28 water jets, temporary rest rooms and plenty of shade, organizers said this week. The splash pad will have Bluetooth speakers available for use by visitors.

The park will stay open through Aug. 10. It will be free to the public.

SplashJAM is a joint project between the Blue Grass Community Foundation, the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government, the Lexington Downtown Development Authority and Lexington parks and recreation.

“We are excited to make this project possible,” said Lisa Adkins, president and CEO of the foundation. “It’s important to create a safe, clean , fun and appealing alternative to the fountains at Thoroughbred Park, which were not built for water play.”

As part of a new aquatics plan, the city plans to install permanent splash pads in several locations. Thosesplash pads won’t be open this summer. The temporary splash pad will help address the shortage of pools and water play features on the city’s East Side this summer.

Kids and adults can often be seen in the water at Thoroughbred and Triangle parks.

The $160,000 project is financed through private donations and a grant from the Gehl Institute, a nonprofit design firm.

“Great cities have great parks, and great parks have great places for people,” said Jeff Fugate, the president and chief operating officer of the Lexington Downtown Development Authority. “SplashJAM meets a demonstrated need for free water play in the neighborhood and for all of Lexington.”

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall