No Memorial Day opening for splash park this year

The Ontario Splash Park tests the water features. 

ONTARIO — Despite heavy rains all week, there will be less splashing in Ontario this year. There is no set date for reopening the Ontario Splash Park yet due to mandated closures in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

“The Ontario Recreation District is currently monitoring the phased approach to reopening the Country, State of Oregon, and more specifically the Malheur County,” a news release from Ontario Recreation District Executive Director Andrew Maeda states.

While the county, along with most of Oregon’s counties, entered Phase 1 of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s reopening plan, all public pools, skate parks and sport courts are not a part of that opening.

Phase 2’s guidelines have not been completely released as of yet, and Malheur County wouldn’t be able to enter that part of the plan until at least June 5. According to Maeda, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Association has created a “proposed phased approach that specifically outlines the opening of outdoor pools in Phase 2” of Brown’s plan. Maeda said this plan has been submitted to the governor.

“Without specific information regarding outdoor pools from the State of Oregon, the Ontario Recreation District will not be opening the Splash Pad until clear and specific approval from the State of Oregon Reopening Plan has been provided,” Maeda said. “We hope to provide clear and specific opening dates, updated rules, and operations as our county continues with the reopening plan.”

The park has been closed since Sept. 2. It was originally scheduled to open on Memorial Day (Monday).

Pool update

The recreation district is finalizing contract negotiations for architectural and engineering services for the project. Right now, Maeda said, the recreation district is in the process of finalizing the Request for Proposal process, which will be followed by the designing phase. 

After designs are in place, the recreation district will begin fundraising efforts in the community.

“We are very aware of this community’s need for this facility and we are very excited to enter this next step of the project,” Maeda wrote.

Nik Streng is the sports reporter for the Argus Observer. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2015 with a master's degree in journalism, after graduating from Pacific University in 2013 with a degree in creative writing.

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