Newport to get a spray park
The spray park will have water features similar to these, allowing kids to run through a splash pad of water fountains. (Courtesy graphic|City of Newport)
NEWPORT - The summer heat is here, and it comes with some refreshing news. Newport will get a spray park.
The city learned last week it was approved for a state grant that will fund half of the cost of constructing a 3,500-square-foot spray park in Newport City Park.
Construction will likely begin after this summer festival season. City administrator Ray King said they don’t want to interfere with events such as OKB Fest that are planned in the park this summer. He’s excited at the prospect of offering a new place for summer play.
“This is really an important thing for this community,” he said. “Our kids have nothing. Here we are in the middle of summer and the river is flooding.”
The nearest swimming pool to Newport is 24 miles away at the Camas Center for Community Wellness or in Blanchard at Stoneridge resort.
It will be free to use the spray park, which will be located near the kids’ play area in Newport City Park off of Calispel Avenue.
The preliminary design the city is using has a pond theme, with structures that look like flowers, cattails and leaves that shower users. It includes a pair of water cannons and fountains that spray water up from the ground.
It will cost about $200,000 to build the spray park. Half of that is funded by the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office through the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
The city’s half will come mostly in in-kind work, materials and staff labor. King estimated about $45,000 from the city’s reserves will also be used to build the park. Local groups such as the Boy Scouts have committed to helping with the project.
Newport’s spray park was one of more than 230 projects that received funding, the state announced last week. Some others will upgrade ball fields, develop boat launches, and conserve wildlife habitat. The RCO awarded more than $67.5 million in grants in all. Only about half of the grant requests were funded.
"These grants feed right into local communities that have applied for funds to complete long-sought local projects," said Bill Chapman, chairman of the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board. "They create jobs both in the construction of new parks and trails, and through tourism. They help ensure that Washington remains a top notch destination for Washington taxpayers and other visitors who want to hike, hunt, bike, fish and just enjoy the great outdoors."
The spray park is one piece of the Newport sports complex upgrade. The RCO also provided grant funding for the Newport High School track and field improvements. Refurbishing the tennis courts by the high school is another part of the plan.