The Washington Parks Department is gearing up for a busy summer and has one major goal, according to Darren Dunkle, parks director.

“Our goal is to get the projects we have promised to the public completed, including the skate park and all-abilities park,” he said. “The biggest goal is getting those parks up and operating.”

Rain over the past several weeks has slowed down city crews, he said, as dry weather is needed for both projects.

The skate park, located at Optimist Park is nearly complete, with only final crack sealing and painting left. Drainage work also needs to be completed, but will not interfere with the opening of the park.

Dunkle said he is anticipating opening the park sometime this month.

“There is no definite date because the rain keeps setting us back,” he said.

City crews have been working on site grading, storm sewers and retaining walls at the all-abilities park, which is under construction near Lions Lake.

Dunkle said he’s still not sure if city crews will install the playground equipment or if the work will be contracted out.

Pool Opening

Dunkle said the city pool is scheduled to open Saturday, May 25.

Leading up to opening the pool, the Agnes Nolting Aquatics Complex is in transformation, as a new splash pad is being installed and the leisure pool is being resurfaced.

The area that was a small wading pool will be replaced with several different spray water features.

Part of the reason for the change is to meet ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) requirements, otherwise a ramp into the wading pool would have been needed. The ramp would have required much of the decking to be torn out.

Westport Pools is working on the $60,000 project, which is expected to be completed by May 10.

Like the splash pad, the completion date for the leisure pool resurfacing is set for May 10, according to Dunkle.

Schilli Plastering has started on the $35,763 project.

Also over the next several weeks, Midwest Pools will clean the competition pool, fill it with water and place the lounge chairs.

The company also is responsible for hiring lifeguards, Dunkle said. The city hires cashiers and is in the process of hiring for the season.

Park personnel have been working to get ball fields up and running, mowing, making repairs to pavilions and facilities and other general maintenance.