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Splash park breaks ground

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The dream of building a new splash park for Fayette is becoming a reality. The committee tasked with developing and fundraising for the park, along with officials with Ideal Landscaping and SWT Construction, officially broke ground Monday morning adjacent to the Fayette memorial Swimming Pool at the Fayette City Park.

The effort to build a splash park in Fayette has been ongoing for nearly four years. A survey was circulated in 2018 among the community with regard to water recreation in Fayette. A splash emerged as the favorite option. 

“It’s been over three years since we started working on this,” said John Pettit, chair of the pool ad hoc committee. “Thank you to everyone at the city and everyone on the committee.”

At a total cost of $321,900, the splash park is expected to be completed in about five weeks, depending on weather. It is funded entirely on donations.

The committee still needs around $3,500 to fully fund project. It is currently selling personalized bricks that will be laid at the site, to help fulfill the funding. The cost will be $100 or $200 depending on the size of the brick. Larger spaces will also be available for silver and gold donations of $1,000 and $2,000, respectively. Bricks will be laid in the spring prior to when the splash park opens to the public. So far, around 20 bricks have been sold. Some who have already donated toward the splash park will receive complimentary bricks.

An early anonymous donation in the amount of $70,000 jump started the fundraising phase. In April 2020, the Sheltered Services Board in Fayette pledged $40,000 toward the project. Donations exceeded the quarter-million mark when Lucile Thurman left $150,000 of her estate for the park. Thurman was a well known Howard County resident and businesswoman. She passed away June 4, 2020, less than seven weeks before her 101st birthday.

Thurman’s gift stipulated that $25,000 be used to create a memorial bench in the park and that a dogwood tree be planted, while $150,000 is to help fund the splash park.

“I appreciate John and the committee,” said Fayette Mayor Kevin Oeth, who took part in the groundbreaking ceremony Monday. “They’ve done a great job.”

The splash park is expected to open in May when the weather turns warm. It will be free and open to the public.

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