Splash pad removed from sesquicentennial's legacy project

Robert Houk • Nov 21, 2018 at 12:00 AM

As the Johnson City Sesquicentennial Commission continues to gear up for the kickoff to the city’s yearlong 150th birthday celebration on Jan. 3, members voted Tuesday to remove a splash pad from the commission’s legacy project at King Commons.

A cascading water feature has also been placed lower on the legacy project’s funding priorities. Sesquicentennial commissioners said nearly $4.2 million would be need to be raised to include an animated water fountain with the other proposed learning and playground features proposed for the King Commons project.

Commissioner Larry Reeves said the cascading water feature would be a “better draw” for the legacy project.

 “It would be something that would set us apart,” he said

Commissioner Donna Noland, the chairwoman of the fundraising committee, said she and her colleagues have decided the splash pad would be a “duplication of services” with the city receiving a $200,000 state grant to install a similar $400,000 water feature at Carver Park. The 2,500-square-foot splash pad will be located on Carver Park’s east side, in a green space between the pavilion and West Market Street.

Noland also said the fundraising committee has made a list of funding priorities for the legacy project, placing the natural adventure park at King Commons at the top. She said installing restrooms and creating a learning/history circle at King Commons were also placed ahead of the water feature.

“We are at the mercy of the cards we are being dealt,” Noland said.

She said the fundraising committee has collected $350,000 in just four weeks, which she called a promising start.

“We feel really good where we are today,” Noland said, noting the amount had been raised before the launch of the “formal campaign.”

The fundraising committee kicked off its efforts last month to collect at least $1.65 million to go toward the city’s 150th anniversary monthly activities and legacy project at King Commons. Johnson City commissioners have also committed to spending $1.3 million to the sesquicentennial celebration.



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