City temporarily closes 2 spray parks due to vandalism

City of Prince Albert photo. The new Crescent Heights Spray Park (pictured) and the Lions Park Spray Park are temporarily closed due to vandalism. City administrators aim to have the Crescent Heights park back up and running by mid-August. There is no timetable for the Lions Park Spray Park.

Prince Albert families will have two fewer recreation options after the City of Prince Albert temporarily closed two spray parks due to vandalism.

Spray parks in Crescent Heights and Lions Park have both been shut down while the City waits for parts to repair them. The Crescent Heights spray park was opened last September, while the spray park at the Lions Park opened in June 2020.

City of Prince Albert Sports and Recreation Manager Curtis Olsen said it’s disappointing to see the damage.

“I feel kind of deflated today,” Olsen said. “We’re in the beginning of August. We’ve got some nice weather. We know how well our spray parks are utilized and the kids love them and families and now everyone in the city has to deal with this. It’s just disappointing.”

Olsen said they were called to the Crescent Heights park earlier this week after receiving calls that the start button was pulled out and wires were exposed. City crews arrived for and inspection and discovered a damaged actuator, which gets the water flowing after a user pushes the start button.

Olsen said they originally hoped for a quick fix, but soon realized more significant repairs would be needed. The City has already ordered the necessary parts. Olsen expects it to cost around $3,000, and that doesn’t include shipping or labour.

“Obviously, it wasn’t something they just grabbed and ripped off,” he explained. “They would have had to have some type of hammer or some type of device like that that had lots of force behind it to do what they did.”

The City received another call late Wednesday afternoon, this time about damage to the Lions Park spray park. City crews performed a short inspection on Wednesday, and a longer, more thorough inspection on Thursday.

Olsen said there’s no estimate on what it will cost to fix the park. They will likely have to replace the controller, which costs around $8,000, but he estimates even more parts will need replacing.

Olsen said he feels bad for the families who won’t get to enjoy the spray parks during one of the warmest months of the year.

“It’s disappointing and frustrating because we know how well they’re utilized,” he said. “The kids love them, and on a hot day, it’s a great way for everyone to get out and cool down.

“These spray parks, we’ve had really good significant investment. I think of (businessman) Malcolm (Jenkins) and the investments he’s made, and the great partnerships to make these projects happen, so it’s just so unfortunate. If it just breaks down and we have to fix it, that’s one thing, but when it’s due to vandalism or scenarios where someone is just up to no good, then it’s affecting everyone.”

If everything goes well, Olsen said the Crescent Heights park will be back up and running by mid-August. The Lions Park spray park, however, is down indefinitely. Olsen said they’re currently working with the supplier to determine which parts they’ll need to fix it.

There are eight spray parks in the City of Prince Albert.

@kerr_jas •