PELL CITY -- Workers continue to prepare the Lakeside Park splash pad for its official 2018 opening, which is only a few weeks away.

Parks and Recreation Director Bubba Edge said J.A. Dawson, the company that built the splash pad, had workers out last week preparing the surface for the third annual opening of the facility.

He said workers sandblasted the surface and have put a new surface on it.

“It looks really good,” Edge said, adding that workers will return to complete some caulking around the cement pad features. “They will come back out and check everything out before the opening.”

Workers, he said, will have to replace an above-ground pipe fixture, and the Parks and Recreation Department will turn on the water later this week.  J.A. Dawson employees will make sure everything is working properly, and there are no water leaks.

Edge said the facility will open for the summer on Saturday, May 5.

“We plan to have a soft opening,” he said.

While school is still in session, the splash pad is open 1-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sundays.

The summer hours are extended from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, while remaining open at the normal 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sundays.

The splash pad will close Sept. 30.

About half of the original splash pad staff will return, Edge said, and the department will hire eight new employees for the seasonal operation of the facility. It takes a total of 14 splash pad employees, which include four managers, to maintain and operate the $1.6 million facility during the summer months.