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WATERLOO — The popular downtown “sprayground” is getting an upgrade before welcoming children this year.

Crews this week are replacing the colorful safety surfacing at the water-themed Mark’s Park playground that opened in 2012 on the RiverLoop Amphitheater.

Waterloo Leisure Services Director Paul Huting said Mark’s Park should be ready to open as planned May 25 for the Memorial Day weekend.

It will remain open at least through Labor Day.

“The original rubberized surfacing was beginning to crack and peel,” Huting said. “It is being replaced with an improved surfacing product with an enhanced warranty.”

Boland Recreation, of Marshalltown, is installing the new surface under a $53,750 contract.

The overall project cost, including architectural fees and city workers removing the old surface, topped $61,000.

Funding for the safety improvements included $28,000 from the Young Family Foundation, $20,500 from the Waterloo Community Foundation, $5,746 from a Mark’s Park Fund at the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa and $7,000 in city bond revenue.

Mark’s Park is named after Mark Young, the son of Rick and Cathy Young who died in a March 2003 motorcycle accident.

The family, other donors and a state grant helped construct the park on top of the flood levee at the downtown amphitheater.

“We sincerely thank the Young family for making this spray park possible and for ensuring that it is well-maintained into the future,” Huting said.

“I can tell you from firsthand observation that the park is busy all summer long,” he added. “I don’t have any specific usage numbers, but it is well into the thousands.”

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Waterloo City Reporter

Waterloo city reporter for the Courier

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