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Groundbreaking held for splash park
I-Splash pad breaks ground
Rotarians Jim King with Etowah Water and Sewer Authority, Mike Berg, chairman of the Dawson County Board of Commissioners, and Vernon Smith, 2013/2014 Rotary Club of Dawson County President, toss the first shovels of dirt, on Thursday, for a new splash pad the club is building at Rock Creek Park. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Come mid-August, kids of all ages will be able to cool off in the new splash pad at Rock Creek Park.

Rotary Club of Dawson County on Thursday broke ground on the three-dimensional, interactive water feature that is tentatively set to open with a grand celebration Aug. 15.

"It's hard to believe that it's nearly coming to fruition,' said Vernon Smith, the club's immediate past-president.

"I'm hoping the kids and Dawson [County] will enjoy this. It will represent the Rotary in Dawson County for many, many years."

The club earlier this year committed to building the splash pad at the park at an estimated cost of $54,000 for the first phase.

Funded by proceeds from its annual golf tournaments over three years, the splash pad is the club's biggest project since forming in 1992.

"A lot of people really worked very, very hard ... thank you so much. Thank you again for all your hard work in raising the money and the effort that's going to be spent building it," Smith said.

Designed to have a 40-foot diameter, the splash pad will have five above ground water features and six ground level sprinklers. The pad will also be surrounded by cement sidewalks, as well as a brick walkway. Commemorative bricks are available to purchase.

Etowah Water and Sewer Authority has pledged to provide water free of charge, up to $5,000 annually.

The Dawson County Board of Commissioners approved the design in May.

On Thursday, commissioners were on hand for the ground breaking ceremony.

"What a wonderful gift for Rotary to give and it really is a lasting edifice of something that's going to be here for a long time, unlike a lot of other things that we as Rotarians do, where you hand over money and you forget the next year where that money went," said Mike Berg, chairman of the board of commissioners and longtime Rotarian.

"People will remember this project and where it came from, so thank you Rotary, thank you board of commissioners. This is really a benefit to the citizens."