MLK Park splash pad to open this summer after year's delay

May 17, 2013

After more than a year of delays, a new high-tech splash pad will be ready to open for the summer season at Martin Luther King Park on Buffalo's East Side.

Test run of sprays at MLK's new splash pad
Credit Eileen Buckley / WBFO News

Thursday afternoon, city public works conducted a test of the sprays in the wading pool. Mayor Byron Brown stood in front of the splash pad to announce that it will be ready to open for the community next month.

"When all of the wading pools and pools in the City of Buffalo open on June 1 of this year, the Martin Luther King park wading pool, one of the most unique water features in the nation at a cost of over $4.5 million, will be open," Brown said.

The splash pad was supposed to open last July, but the contractor, Man O' Trees, ran into a number of delays. The contractor has had a bad track record of not completing projects on-time.

The city stepped in last year to closely monitor the revitalization project.

It cost more than$4.5-million to recreate a state-of-the art wadding pool.  But it preserves the history value of the Olmsted Park.  It was a complicated project.  Water spouts heads talk to one another on the pad and will be computerized -- allowing multiply water levels.  It can be turned into a splash pad or a water display. 

The entire wadding area is designed for four seasons. In the winter it will be transformed into an ice rink.  In the fall it will be a reflecting pool.

Activist Sam Herbert shakes Mayor Brown's hand thanking him
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Longtime East Side community activist Sam Herbert keep the pressure on City Hall to get the job done and Thursday declared victory to reporters.  Herbert shook the Mayor's hand thanking him for monitoring the progress of the splash pad.

"This is our park. Dr. Martin Luther King is smiling. My vision, and everything that I do, I did for the children," Herbert said.