METAIRIE, La. -- On a hot afternoon like this, you could almost imagine dozens of kids inside the splash area in Lafreniere Park.
But despite the fact that it’s finished, it remains off limits.
Donna Grayson brings her 2-year-old granddaughter to Lafreniere Park as often as she can, and each time they stop by the park’s splash pad.
“Hoping it was open and it’s not," Grayson said.
The splash pad’s groundbreaking came with much fanfare last fall and a scheduled opening set for this past March.
But months later the more than $300,000 splash area remains closed, despite the fact that construction wrapped up.
“She wants to play in the water,” Grayson said. “She knows about it. She wants to get in there, but it’s locked. Every time we come, it’s locked.”
Jefferson Parish Councilman Ben Zahn’s district includes the park.
“We’ve had some issues within the last couple of weeks,” he said.
Zahn said two issues came up leading to a delay in the splash pad’s opening.
Earlier on, permitting issues between the contractor and sub-contractor, and more recently the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, warn about a problem with the backflow preventer.
“It’s classified close to a swimming pool, even though it’s not a swimming pool—that’s my understanding,” Zahn said. “So, when you’re dealing with the general public in here, of course Health and Hospitals has to make sure it is where it needs to be.”
But the backflow preventer issue is considered a minor problem, and after a meeting Thursday with the DHH, Zahn said they are working on a fix that should get the splash pad open within a week.
That’s something people at the park say they are looking forward to, for obvious reasons.
“Oh my gosh, it’s so hot,” said Amanda Bourg. “It’s summer, the middle of July, of course it’s going to be this hot.”
Grayson said, “It’s really hot for little kids to play up in this area. It will be nice when they open up the water park for kids to go in it.”