Park ‘splash pad’ off, awaiting permit

The “splash pad” at Klamath Commons, the new park in downtown Klamath Falls, is temporarily turned off because of a disagreement between the local developers and the state agency charged with granting an operating permit for the park.

The disagreement is whether the splash pad is a “water feature” or a “pool.”  The splash pad designers – a Portland-based firm – never intended it to be classified as a pool, which triggers a different set of code requirements. 

The plans for the splash pad were previously approved by the state agency; however, now that it is complete, a state inspector has questioned whether the pad is operating as they thought it would.

An assortment of community partners including the splash pad design firm, staff from Sky Lakes Medical Center and the City of Klamath Falls comprise the team now collaborating to resolve the issue.

“Although we do not have a firm timeline, we are optimistic that the splash pad will be turned back on soon,” said Sky Lakes spokesman Tom Hottman.

In the meantime, the rest of the park is open and fences protecting the still-fragile grass will be removed in the next few weeks. 

The one-block park, between Main Street and Klamath Avenue and bordered by 11th and 12th streets, was formally opened July 1. 

The park, a gift to the community by Sky Lakes from its 50th anniversary celebration, is a tribute to the memory of the late Stephanie VanDyke, MD, MPH, a wellness visionary who continues to inspire.