Park District moves forward with splash pad

March 7, 2019

DIXON – The Park Board signed off on construction work for Water Wonderland Wednesday, and the hope is to open the splash pad by the end of June.

The board approved a $139,000 contract with Rockford-based Sjostrom & Sons Inc. to handle the concrete and plumbing work as well as install the splash pad features, which the district has bought for about $106,000.

The bid was about $10,000 to $15,000 higher than preliminary estimates, but district Executive Director Duane Long said they are looking for ways to find project savings elsewhere, such as with the landscaping work.

The district soon will start two more bidding processes for the landscaping work and for a decorative waterfall at the site in Meadows Park near Wooden Wonderland.

Both the city and district are committing $100,000 for the project, which is estimated to total north of $500,000. Plans started after an anonymous donor pledged $200,000 for the splash pad in June. They’re also hoping to bring in about $100,000 in community donations through a recently launched capital campaign.

The board also welcomed new Recreation Director Seth Nicklaus, who started Friday.

The Dixon native, a former gym teacher, math teacher, health teacher, athletic director and basketball coach at Faith Christian School in Grand Detour, said he’s looking forward to thinking outside of the box and taking input from community members on what changes or additions they would like to see.

“I’m excited to be here, and I’m thankful for the opportunity,” Nicklaus said.

He’s working on plans for the district’s annual Easter egg hunt, and bus trips to Cubs games will be returning this year.