Nekoosa to celebrate Kautzer Plaza splash pad opening
Community day to be held June 9
By Rapids City Times staff
NEKOOSA – The city of Nekoosa will celebrate the official opening of its new splash pad, during a Community Day on June 9.
“(It is) an opportunity to bring everyone together to support what the city of Nekoosa has to offer,” said Heather Sairs, a community parent. “Not only do we have the skate park and the playground and the baseball fields, but now we have the splash pad. The splash pad has been recently developed over this last year, and we want to bring everybody down from Nekoosa to see what we have.
“Now that we no longer have the pool, we want to have an area where people – parents, grandparents, children, anybody – can come down and experience all of the fun, wonderful, wet things that can happen during those hot days.”
To commemorate the completion of the splash pad a celebration will be held June 9, 1-3 p.m., featuring a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1:30 p.m., pizza, icecream, and promos.
“Come and bring your swimsuits…come and have some fun, have some food, run in the water, and just come and support your community,” Heather added.
“This is kind of our big kick off, with the event, to get the splash pad fully operational in our in our Kautzer park,” added Nekoosa Director of Public Works Rick Schmidt, who also serves on the Kautzer Recreational Plaza committee with other Nekoosa citizens and Lions Club members.
The splash pad serves as a replacement for a longtime pool that was recently removed.
“The pool was removed due to age and maintenance,” Rick said. “Since that time, the city had been looking for a replacement option and started thinking about a possible splash pad that would be manageable financially, and something that would enhance the park.”
The Legacy Foundation stepped forward and provided a $500,000 grant for the city of Nekoosa to build the splash pad.
“That really was the energy behind getting this built last year – in 2018. Now, this is really going to be the first full year for the splash pad (being) operational,” Rick explained.
The committee continues to work on the plaza, with plans to add a new bathroom facility with an overhang in the near future.
“The original building was built in the late 1960s-early 1970s era. It was a metal-type building with a large open space with two bathrooms; they were not handicap accessible, and they did not meet the code requirements for our park and are very inefficient from a heating standpoint,” Rick explained. “The inside was only used during the winter, at a low-level heat, for the ice skating area and there was no place to use for the summer time.
“It also happened to be in the location where the splash pad was going, so a hard decision had to be made by the city council members to remove the building, make way for the new splash pad.”
“Having the new facility will not only give us better bathrooms, it will give us the kitchen area that we need as well as the overhand,” Heather added. “Then, we talked about putting in garage doors, so when it is raining, we can close those doors and everything is enclosed.
Schmidt said that a space has already been designated for the new building
“There is a vacant space just on the side of the splash pad that has been earmarked for a future building… with bathroom and shelter space – a rentable-type facility – and the Nekoosa Lions Club is taking the lead as part of our community and a small committee is starting fundraising,” Rick said. “We are hoping to break ground on it next year.”
If you would like to donate to the project, contact Mary Frick at the Nekoosa-Port Edwards State Bank.