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Despite delays, Parks and Recreation Department still planning Memorial Day opening for Cape water park

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dan Muser, director of the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department, shows the lap pool that is being constructed at the new water park behind the Osage Community Centre.
(Fred Lynch)
Since Penzel Construction Co. won the contract to build Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center last July, there have been 72 days where weather interrupted construction.

But Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department director Dan Muser remains confident that he will deliver the $8.7 million water park to the public in time for a Memorial Day opening.

"That's still the plan," Muser said as he toured the site of the showpiece project for the city's $20 million park improvements program approved by voters in April 2008. "I can't say any more than that."

At the construction site, concrete pillars to hold two winding water slides are in place and workers on Wednesday were bolting pieces of the slides together. The concessions and bathhouse building shells are completed, but no fixtures have been installed. Concrete finishing work on the lazy river feature -- 700 feet of moving water in an 11-foot-wide trench -- is underway to prepare it for a robin's egg blue coat of paint.

Joe Polys, superintendent for subcontractor Westport Pools, said that rain and winter weather have been the only serious issues that have arisen during construction. Because of sloping terrain beside the Osage Community Centre, where the aquatic center is being built, moving equipment around the site can be difficult on good weather days that follow rain.

The lazy river will be an 11-foot-wide, 700-foot-long trench filled with moving water.
"We have had several trucks get stuck in the mud," Polys said.

Construction of the water park completes a project that has been on the city's wish list for more than a decade. Amenities at the center will include:

* Four long water slides ranging from 64 feet to 177 feet long.

* A six-lane, 25-yard lap and leisure pool adjacent to a vortex pool.

* A shallow water play area that will have a gradually sloping entrance.

* A splash pad that will feature water shooting up from the ground as well as rings and a tall green cartoon snake head that will spray water from above.

* 23 large "funbrellas" for shade and a picnic pavilion.

While the weather was uncooperative earlier this year, the last two weeks have had excellent construction conditions, Muser said.

"We have done as much as we did in 1 1/2 to two months in the winter," he said.

The completion of the water park will mean most of the projects included in the parks program are finished. The one big project that will take until the end of the year is the new community center adjacent to the Shawnee Park Sports Complex.

Accomplishing what was promised -- at the prices originally estimated -- has been, at times, a difficult task, Muser said. Part of that difficulty was saying no to people who tried to promote ideas for items not originally included in the project list. "All you can do is what the people voted to do," he said. "You can't be tempted to get off course of what you said you would do."

And getting the costs right, he said, is another set of headaches. The community center at Shawnee was delayed by bids that were in excess of the available cash and which had flaws in the bid specifications that required a second round of bids. The project at the Jaycees Municipal Golf Course needed to be pared back to fit the budget.

"It is scary when you put this stuff out," Muser said. "It is very easy to have costs exceed what you thought it was going to be."

The water slides are expected to be one of the most popular attractions at the aquatic center.

The question everyone is asking, said Muser, a 25-year veteran of the parks department including 21 years as director, is who will be the first to go down the big, 25-foot-tall water slide that will be 177 feet long. Some have asked whether he will be the first, Muser said.

"I am not opposed to going first," he said. "But that is the least of my worries."



Water park prices

The Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center will open later this year with water slides, splash pads and a lazy river play area. The Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department has set the following admission prices for using the center:

Adults: $6

Children: $5

Family season pass: $200

Child's season pass: $100

Senior Citizen season pass: $100

SOURCE: Cape Girardeau Parks

and Recreation Department

Pertinent address:

1625 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, MO

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I think those are good prices. It will keep the scum of the area at home instead of messing with the little kids!

-- Posted by Jax12 on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 1:22 AM

Price is not a deterrent anywhere else. What makes you think this place would be any different?

-- Posted by malan on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 8:35 AM

Hey, I would pay 6 bucks to watch Dan the Man slide headfirst down the slides. You gotta do all four though.

Ex-mayor Jay gets to try out the shallow water play area. No use getting him in over his head.

Prices are fine. 100 bucks for the season per kid. Heck, folks pay more than that for carnival rides at the SEMO Fair.

-- Posted by Hawker on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 8:54 AM

Winter brings unfavorable construction conditions? Who woulda thunk it? What would have happened if we had another bad year of ice storms?

I hope the park opens on the planned date, but I'm not breaking out the swim suit just yet.

-- Posted by qzerp on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 10:03 AM

It's outrageous that Republican voters, who dominate this this area, voted to raise taxes to fund this thing. The idea that Republicans don't raise taxes is the grossest lie going in this country. The ONLY tax they try not to raise is the income tax, and they make us pay through the nose by raising every other tax they can get their hands on.

-- Posted by heye1967 on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 11:23 AM

If this is a Republican thing, as suggested, then do Democrats get to enjoy it or not? I'd really hate for this to be a partisan thing....

I'm thinking they put chemicals in the water to prevent scum and bacteria. That way ANYONE can come...unless this is a partisan thing that only Republicans can use.

I have now removed my tonue from my cheek.

-- Posted by LiveAnotherDay on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 11:46 AM

See attached 14 sec clip


I think he actually said, "no new taxi's"

-- Posted by grandma73 on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 12:19 PM

jaxinindians2010 define scum. I assume you are talking about perverts. Because that's who needs to be kept out.

-- Posted by E.A. on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 2:19 PM

Having a little fun while wondering "WTF?" --- Uhhhhh, that would be " Where's The Food " for the censorship committee. :-)~

Two recent tax issues have garnered much attention - the Cape water park sales tax and the Cape school property tax.

Results -

Cape water park - 56.5% Yes

Cape school tax - 61.3% Yes

Issue (biased in my own 'pinch a penny so hard it makes Lincoln's veins pop out' opinion, which contrasts greatly with the apparent opinion of the majority to slather dollars around like a drunken sailor at a strip club on the first night in port)

Cape water park - 20% essential spending, 80% non-essential

Cape school tax - 75% essential spending, 25% non-essential

So (here's where the fun part starts) - expanding these results out in linear fashion since there are only two points, which makes extravagant curve-fitting techniques somewhat useless -

* An issue containing absolutely NO essential spending could still be expected to receive a 54.75% approval rating.

* An issue containing 100% essential and necessary spending would receive 'only' a 63.5% approval rating.

If an issue requires only a 50%+1 approval level, then just getting it on the ballot is a sure victory.

If an issue requires the 4/7 approval level, then only need to sway 2.5% of the undecided voters for victory.

Hmmm, there's a joke in here somewhere about narrow-mindedness - but I just can't seem to find it. :-)~

-- Posted by fxpwt on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 9:00 PM

Once again I take issue with the whole "ticket pricing keeps the scum out" mentality. I'm not certain what most folks' definition of 'scum' or 'lowlifes' may be...but I was always under the impression it was a behaviour and morals (or lack of) issue--not an income level. We have been strugglng with unemployment for the past year and honestly I don't think that makes us lowlife people or scum. It will however curtail how often we will be able to use the water park.

-- Posted by Catbert on Sun, Apr 18, 2010, at 9:30 AM

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