Splash Valley Aquatic Park will finally reopen, and the long-anticipated rebirth begins with a ribbon cutting and opening celebration Friday at the facility at 1850 River Road in Kankakee.
Dayna Heitz, executive director of the Kankakee Valley Park District, expects up to 100 people, including elected officials, vendors and community members, at the invitation-only event.
“We’re still getting a lot of RSVPs,” said Heitz at Monday’s board of commissioners meeting at the Bird Park Administration building. “A lot of vendors that were part of the project and sponsors that we have out at Splash [will be there]. The staff has put in the last three solid weeks out there, whether it’s power washing the concrete, or whether it’s planting, spreading mulch.
“A lot has gone into this place, and a lot of hard work, sweat and tears.”
Splash Valley closed after the 2015 season due to leaking water in the lazy river and other mechanical failures. After sitting dormant for three years, in 2018 the park district sold $2 million of government obligation bonds to rehab the park.
The renovation began in November 2019, and the reopening was planned for the summer of 2020 but was pushed back a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A staff of 57 people has been hired to operate the aquatic facility, including 14 lifeguards with the remaining staff consisting of pool managers, front desk personnel and concession workers.
Splash Valley opens to the public at 11 a.m. Saturday. The pool will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day (noon to 5 p.m. Memorial Day). Tot Time swim for children 5 years old and younger will be from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Also at Monday’s meeting, the board approved its budget and appropriation ordinance for the fiscal year, beginning June 1, 2021, and ending May 31, 2022, of an estimate of the expenditures contemplated at $4,244,952.
The estimate of the cash on hand at the beginning of the fiscal year is expected to be $1,371,086, and an estimate of the cash expected to be received during the fiscal year from all sources is $4,213,223.
The estimated amount of taxes to be received by the KVPD during the fiscal year is $2,323,360. The estimate of the cash expected to be on hand at the end of the fiscal year is $1,339,356.