With less than four weeks remaining until Memorial Day weekend — the traditional start of the swimming season — Chilli Bay Water Park is a bevy of activity with the hope that the $4.2 million facility will be opened by the holiday weekend.
Steel structures for the slides went up over the weekend and the actual fiberglass slides are expected to be installed later this week. The extended parking lot area is scheduled for paving later this week, as well, as long as the weather remains dry.
Chillicothe City Council members gathered for their regular semi-monthly meeting Monday evening at City Hall, but began their activities with a site visit to the water park in Simpson Park.
City Administrator Ike Holland said the hope is that the water park will open Saturday, May 25.
"We're trying to look at the timeline and see if we can still make the deadline; if the weather will cooperate, we will still make that deadline," he said.
The site visit allowed city council members to look at the water park's layout.
"They've seen the drawings over the last six months, but never walked the site with a lot of the structure put in," Holland said. "Now, they can get a first-hand look at the scope of things — the size of the ladders, how high it's going to be, where the diving area is going to be, how big the lazy river is..."
Walking the site gave council members a more detailed perspective of the project.
"So far, we've gotten a lot of positive comments," Holland said.
The project was anticipated to be substantially completed by May 1; however, winter weather and a wet spring caused delays. Additionally, the project had a short time-span from start to finish. Talks about renovating the former aquatic center began just over a year ago. The architect was chosen in May, a project contractor selected in October, and demolition of the former facility started late last fall.
"It's been a tight time-frame," said Mike Fischer, with Water's Edge, the project's engineering and consulting firm, noting that the design phase began in late summer.
Despite the tight schedule, Fischer said that he has been pleased with the contractor's quality of work.
Project Manager Chris VanSickle, with 2-Point Construction, said that the pools are expected to be filled by the second week in May.
Project officials said much activity will take place daily during the next couple of weeks, including the installation of slides, the paving of the expanded parking lot, more coats of paint, continued work on the bath houses with the installation of new toilets, fixtures and sinks, the installation of the climbing wall, and the addition of themed features. The first of three coats of paint for the pools went on Monday evening.
Page 2 of 2 - Training is to be held the week of May 20.
Chillicothe City Clerk Roze Frampton, who is handling season pass sales for the water park, told council members that 30 family season passes already have been sold as well as several individual season passes.
"Everyday, we are selling more," Frampton said. "People are excited."
The family pass, being sold at last year's rate until May 15, is $160 for a family of four. The individual season pass is the same as last year's rate.