photo: contributed

photo: contributed

Say so long to Ogopogo: Okanagan water park staple set for destruction

Construction is underway to reopen a Kelowna park for the upcoming summer

Kelowna will have to say goodbye to a 30-year staple of play.

The iconic concrete Ogopogo that was central to the City Park Water Park will be demolished and carted away in the next couple weeks, making way for construction of the new park.

“The Ogopogo structure was originally designed and installed in 1990—it’s concrete, 53-feet long and 8-feet at the highest point —and current codes and standards do not permit climbable features at spray parks,” said Scott Bushell, a city engineer.

“It wasn’t a decision we took lightly, but to promote safety and play-based learning it will have to be removed.”

The removal of Ogopogo was revealed Tuesday when plans for the new waterpark design were released.

Since then, Bushell has received a few calls with members of the community expressing discontent but he said the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to the season of water fun ahead.

“We have a great partnership with Waterplay Solutions, a local aquatic play manufacturer, who will put in new features. It will be a refreshed and great atmosphere and at the end of the day we want to promote safe features,” he said, adding a fall height of eight-feet is not permitted and acceptable at a spray park.

The water park in City Park was closed for the 2017 and 2018 seasons after flood damage.

Bushell said the water park open in time for the upcoming season.

READ MORE: City Park Waterpark temporarily closed

The restoration process has begun with plans to make the new water park more flood resistant, an added new water delivery and disposal system, as well as new attractions.

Waterplay Solutions was the original supplier for the water park when it was first built, worked with their agency partner RecTec Industries to contribute new aquatic play features to the project.

“We’d like to thank Waterplay and RecTec for their collaboration with the city in providing an additional $63,900 worth of features for the water park,” said Bushell.

READ MORE: Retaining wall around popular Kelowna walkway chipping away with rising water

The City of Kelowna will update when the water park will open.

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