June 25, 2016

Mostly sunny

Splash pad in Ray Mellert Park opens at last

Madison Hython, 7, poses in running water Sunday afternoon at the finished splash pad at Ray Mellert Park in Medina. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY KIERA MANION-FISCHER)

MEDINA — It’s not summer anymore, but that didn’t stop youngsters from taking advantage of the long-awaited splash pad at Ray Mellert Park.

Medina city officials hosted a ribbon cutting Sunday for the pad, and as soon as the water was turned on, several neighborhood children rushed to test it out.”

“I think it’s fun,” said Madison Hython, 7. “Everyone’s playing.”

The splash pad won’t officially open until after it is certified by the state, which will be done today or Tuesday, Mayor Dennis Hanwell said.

After that, the water will be turned on for public use while the weather holds out, he said.

The weather may cooperate this week. According to the National Weather Service forecast, the high will be near 63 on Tuesday, and be in the 60-70s and sunny the rest of the week.

The splash pad was expected to be built last year, but the project was delayed because of the first two bids for the contract came in too high.

City officials had hoped to open it this summer, but construction was delayed because of the unusually wet weather.

“It just seemed like it was one weather delay after another,” Ward 1 Councilman Brian Hilberg said.

Pastor Cornell Carter of neighboring Second Baptist Church praised the project.

“It’s a great example of what residents can achieve in partnership with the city,” he said.

The project was funded by a $300,000 federal Neighborhood Revitalization grant.

Hanwell handed out pieces of the ribbon to children and asked them to promise to look out for any vandalism.

Hanwell said the grant funds don’t pay for upkeep.

Hilberg said city officials will host a neighborhood picnic grand opening next spring.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.