the soggy bottom kiddie area of kenwood cove is adjacent to the water slides. (photo by tom dorsey / salina journal) | buy journal photos

silivero castillo, an employee of associated pool, bismark, n.d., tests a spray feature after working on it friday afternoon in the soggy bottom kiddie area of kenwood cove. (photo by tom dorsey / salina journal)

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dry run


by chris hunter salina journal

to look at it from the street, kenwood cove, salina’s new aquatic park, appears ready to open.

but there’s mulching, fencing and countertops to put in place, loudspeakers to put up and staff to be trained. in short, enough left to do on the $11.4 million facility that city officials pushed today’s planned opening back another week.

salina city manager jason gage believes the extra time to finish the park will make for a better experience for visitors.

“we planned on a first-class facility and we want to open a first-class facility,” gage said. “i think they will be excited to walk through the door.” city officials say completing the park on time was hampered by inclement weather.

director of parks and recreation steve snyder said subcontractors were finishing up mulching and putting up the park’s perimeter fence on friday.

dirt, which had been a common sight at the park, is almost all gone.

“they have pretty much hauled out all of the dirt in the park, but what is left will not be leaving,” snyder said. “the landscapers are going to use it to patch up areas in the park.”

snyder said work has been finished in the concession areas, but workers were finishing countertops at the park’s entrance and installing speakers.

“they had the sound system going the other day, but not all of the speakers were on,” snyder said. “they finished putting up poles and need to mount some of the speakers on them. these are not major items that can’t be done before next week.”

no horseplay in the water

snyder said staff members were using the park to train. lifeguards had been training at the ymca.

“they are training in the wave pool and in the lazy river,” snyder said. “we are taking a certain number of staff and setting them in position, then the rest are floating around. this way, we can tell if they are in the right spot and so they can spot horseplay and other activity in the water.

snyder said lifeguards have also been working on positioning on the slide tower and could be ready for a dry run of the park and features next week. during the dry run, more than 100 park employees will stand in line on the slide tower to see how the park employees handle the long line.

snyder said the park will operate with 38 lifeguards at a time and 10 support staff on hand to handle other issues.

“the difference in this facility is the volume of people,” gage said. “we are used to 100 people (visitors), but we are going to see 1,000 to 1,700 each day. with more people, we have to be trained and prepared for dealing with these large volumes.”

nreporter chris hunter can be reached at 822-1422 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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