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Construction starts on $1.7M splash playground at Tempe park

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — The city of Tempe is counting down to opening day of its splashiest parks feature.

Construction began this week on a splash playground at Tempe Kiwanis Park. The design for the $1.7 million water amenity was approved by the city council over a year ago.

The cooldown spot was expected to open in the summer, although a date has not been specified.

The free-use splash pad will be the biggest of the city parks’ water playgrounds.

The council authorized up to $2 million to be spent on the project — moving a problematic 1-acre splash pad from Tempe Beach Park to the park near Baseline Road and Mill Avenue.

The splash pad will be located near the recreation center closer to Rural and Guadalupe roads.

Residents were asked to weigh in on what they wanted in the facility. Some attended a public meeting, others responded online. Requests were made for shading, seating and a dedicated toddler area, among other wants.

Originally, the Tempe Beach Park splash pad was to be renovated. The site had plumbing and potential safety issues.

The playground was closed for repairs in the fall of 2015, after the season, which runs from May through Labor Day.

The city also has three neighborhood spray pads.

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