A relatively rainy and damp spring has slowed construction on a huge upgrade of Fireman’s Park, but it’s not expected to prevent people from getting out into the water next week.

The park will open for the season on Friday, June 21, with many of its upgrades ready for public use, city parks director Dave Walker told the Press last week.

Those improvements include the shelter, the beach area, a 3,600-square foot splash pad and the playground.

The basketball courts and the trail that connects to the bike and pedestrian paths along County Hwy. M to the north will still be under construction until July, Walker said. Crews have been working during the recent stretch of nice weather to get everything done, Walker said.

“The core of the park, the central part, is slated to be completed in the next two weeks,” he said. “They’ve really been going to town the last few weeks.”

Prior to the large amounts of rain during the spring, which halted the project until the ground dried off, construction crews battled sub-zero temperatures during late January and early February. During those days, the site was shut down completely, thought that didn’t knock the overall timeline back as a warmer November and December had allowed them to get ahead of schedule.

Walker said the department will hold a grand opening sometime in July, once all projects at Fireman’s Park are complete.

He said he expects the usage of the park to increase, with the addition of a larger shelter and more activities available to patrons at the park.

“There’s just a lot more to do there than there ever used to be,” he said. “We’re excited to see it open, too, and it’ll be a good summer down there.”

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at kimberly.wethal@wcinet.com and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.