City parks department crews are preparing for a busy summer of projects, including the installation of a gazebo at the city lake.

Union Parks Director Kevin Arand said the foundation for the gazebo is now being built, and he expects it to be in place by June 1.

An octagon-shaped, lighted gazebo will be extended about 25 feet into the city lake. The gazebo will be available for weddings and other events.

However, no fishing will be allowed on the new gazebo.

While the gazebo is a priority, much of the department’s focus will be on opening the Splash-N-Swimplex.

The first day of the pool season will be Memorial Day, May 27, Arand said.

Before the opening of the pool, the large water slide at the pool will be repainted.

There will be an increase in the cost for punch cards this year, Arand noted. The cards will be sold for $40 and are good for 20 visits. Last year the cards were $35.

Punch cards are available at the pool or at the parks and recreation department in the lower level of city hall.

Daily admission is $4 and children 2 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.

Other Projects

According to Arand, there are several other projects that are slated to begin next fiscal year. The projects have not yet been approved by aldermen, but will be submitted with the parks department budget proposal.

The fiscal year begins July 1.

Those plans call for the resurfacing of the city basketball courts, located near the tennis court south of the main park large pavilion.

Asphalt walking paths in the main city park, around the city lake in Clark-Vitt and Autumn Hill parks all will be resurfaced, Arand said.

“They’re deteriorating in areas that flood every now and then,” he explained. “Water gets under the asphalt and cracks it. Sometimes the heat buckles them.

“It’s normal, periodic maintenance,” Arand added.

Next year’s proposed budget also calls for the restrooms at the baseball fields near the city pool to be updated to meet American With Disabilities Act requirements.

Sidewalks leading to the bathrooms already were installed, and plans call for the roofs to be replaced.

The parks department also is gearing up for several activities this summer.

Arand said there will be free events at the park this year including movies and concerts.

The first movie of the season will be Friday, May 17, at the main park in the grass area by the large pavilion. The movie will begin at dusk and is free to the public. People may bring blankets, and lawn chairs and watch the movie “Brave” under the stars.

The first concert of the year will be Friday, May 31, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the main pavilion. It will feature the band Deja Lou.

“We will have a concert and movie in the park every month through September,” Arand said.

He added that the department also is preparing for Founders Day Saturday, June 1, at the city park. The daylong event features family-friendly activities and entertainment.