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An artist’s rendering shows the new splash pad to be installed in the Cheyenne Depot Plaza. This rendering was created before fundraising for the project started, so the final splash pad will likely look different. Courtesy

CHEYENNE – Construction of the much-anticipated Cheyenne Depot Plaza splash pad will start next month, but not until after Cheyenne Frontier Days ends, according to officials familiar with the project.

Manufacture of the splash pad equipment and tanks is taking place at a Canadian plant. And although equipment delivery is expected in mid-July, the city and the contractor, Pointe-Claire, Quebec-based Vortex Aquatic Structures, now plan to begin construction immediately after CFD.

“The equipment is going to be arriving around July 19 or 20,” Cheyenne City Council President Rocky Case said. “The fear is if we begin construction, and let’s say the worst happens and the truck gets in a wreck between Ontario and here, then we’re going to have a great big hole in the middle of Capitol Avenue and the Plaza right at the beginning of Cheyenne Frontier Days.”

Case added that “the potential to have Capitol Avenue shut down during Frontier Days is not a good idea.”

The splash pad, which shoots water a few feet in the air so children and families can run through it, will be free and open to the public, with ongoing maintenance conducted by the city.

Construction is expected to take six to eight weeks, so the project could be finished by the end of September, according to Darren Rudloff, Visit Cheyenne CEO.

“I think this is a wise move to make sure that the project isn’t rushed, is done correctly and doesn’t disrupt activities at Depot Plaza (in July),” Rudloff said. “Let’s do this right. Let’s cause the least impact on activities in the plaza. Doing this in August and September will allow that to happen.”

The project was originally proposed in the Downtown Core Plan developed by Visit Cheyenne, Cheyenne LEADS, the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce and the Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority in 2016.

The City of Cheyenne pledged $250,000 to the project, pending a match of about $300,000 raised from community organizations and individuals. The matching goal was reached last December, six months prior to a city-imposed June deadline.

Money came from businesses, public organizations and private donors throughout Laramie County. Schools also contributed through fundraisers and bake sales.

More than 150 individuals, 120 businesses and 25 civic groups donated to the cause.

The effort included sizable contributions from the Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority, Laramie County Economic Joint Powers Board and Visit Cheyenne. Other donors were Cheyenne Frontier Days and the Laramie County Community College Foundation.

The water feature will be active when weather conditions and temperatures allow operation, and will include a recycling pump so the water will be appropriately filtered and reused.

Project engineers estimate the splash pad will use about 17,000 gallons for the entire summer season, according to a Visit Cheyenne informational web page on the project.

Steve Knight is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s local government reporter. He can be reached at 307-633-3182 or sknight@wyomingnews.com.

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