Splash Pad rendering

A rendering of the future Oregon Splash Pad shows early designs of the project’s interactive water features, shade structures and facilities. Project leaders are seeking public and private donations to fund the splash pad, in addition to considering design changes to expedite the project.

After five years of slow progress, the Oregon splash pad project is still seeking donations from local businesses and individuals — and hopes to begin building by mid-2020 with potential design changes.

Co-leader Deb Bossingham said project staff intends to start pad construction as early as summer 2020, with it opening later that season. But if that doesn’t start within the next six months to a year, the project could lose its time donations and grant money Bossingham said.

It won’t take on loans or use taxes, she said, since the splash pad will be open for public use.

And though she can’t reveal anything just yet, Bossingham said there might be some changes to the design “to try to bring it to the community quicker.”

With the village focusing on larger projects like the $10 million library project and the $3.7 million Jaycee Park West development, Bossingham said “there’s only so much money to go around.” And when the splash pad was first introduced, so were the new Oregon Area Food Pantry and Oregon Youth Center building.

Planning is done for the splash pad and the Oregon School District has built the pump house that would power the water features at the downtown site next to the Oregon Community Pool.

And a large part of the project came together when Lycon announced it would donate all of the concrete for the project, coming out to 150-200 cubic yards.

But Oregon-Brooklyn Optimist Club secretary Margaret Straub said in September fundraising for the project still wields priority, especially since it’s taken five years for the splash pad to reach it’s halfway point for funds.

While organizers last year received a $650,000 estimate for project costs, Straub told the Observer earlier this year that number is now closer to $800,000.

Bossingham said as of Friday, Dec. 6, the project is still seeking pavers and people to help purchase water features for the pool, though it has already received $200,000 worth.

Local organizations like the Masons have contributed to the project, and people can donate money or buy a paver which could be inscribed with a donor’s name.

Straub said she and Bossingham have applied for quite a few grants, receiving one from the Total Administrative Services Corporation. They applied for another from the Madison Community Foundation, a process Straub said made for a “nerve racking weekend” writing the application in September.

“We are determined to get this done,” Straub said in autumn. “We hear from families all the time that they want the splash pad (to come to fruition).”

Bossingham said everyone she talks to “wants it done yesterday.”

To donate to the splash pad or for more information, email Straub at oboptimists@gmail.com or Bossingham at dab@oregonsd.net.

Email Emilie Heidemann at emilie.heidemann@wcinet.com or follow her on Twitter at @HeidemannEmilie.