Construction on the first interactive splash park in west Wichita will begin this spring.
The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the park, which is near Central and Maize. The vote had been delayed last month when council members said they wanted more information.
Council member Jeff Longwell, who represents west Wichita in District 5, said the parks board has been developing the project in Buffalo Park for several years.
Longwell said he hopes the discussion from Buffalo Park will lead to more dialogue on Wichita’s parks and pools, particularly as use of public pools declines.
“It’s a wonderful day for west Wichita,” said Bryan Frye, parks board president.
“It’s going to be such a nice amenity for families in west Wichita, but also neighboring communities in Maize and Goddard. … It’s been in our plans for several years and I’m pleased to see it’s going to be a reality.”
Troy Houtman, park and recreation department director, said the project could be done in several phases, depending on construction costs, and the total project could top $1 million.
The city is waiting to hear if it will receive grants to help pay for the park.
The interactive water feature’s design is based on prairie themes, with sculptures and plants to represent native grasses, according to city documents.
Kansas City-based firm Ochsner Hare and Hare has nearly finished construction plans for the site, which include the interactive water feature, a restroom and shelter building and a parking lot, according to city documents.
The master plan also includes additional sports fields, enhancements to the current baseball field and a walking path around the park, in addition to improved access to the park from Maize Road to help ease congestion in surrounding neighborhoods.