Last March the Lawton City Council delayed plans to build a water park at Elmer Thomas Park, due to community protests over the necessity of the project. At that time, Council member directed city staff to submit bids for a splash pad to the formal bidding process. Legally, the city must open up the project for bids on construction from outside contractors on the estimated $410,000 project.

Now city officials have delayed the project's estimated time table in order to complete details, which will allow it to be submitted for bidding to outside contractors. Supporters had hoped to have the park open for the July 2 Freedom Fest, and according to Jack Hanna, director of Parks and Recreations for the city says it doesn't look like the project will be ready for bids until late August, with an estimated start time of construction being some time in September.

According to Hanna, in order for the project to stay on track with the original time line, the project would have to come back to the city council on June 28th. By opening the bids July 26th, the contractor recommendation would be returned to the council on August 23rd. This would allow the estimated 6-month project to be completed in time to be opened with the remainder of the city's other pools and spray park open in late May of 2017.

The proposed 3,500 square foot facility would be more than twice the size of the city's other spray park/splash pad, located just north of Playground In The Park, in Elmer Thomas' northwest area. Preliminary designs show 13 above ground water features and 15 ground sprays at the proposed new park. The city is planning on the park be and admission free complex.

source: The Lawton Constitution