New WaterparkLafayette’s new waterpark broke ground on Oct. 18, 2016, with an optimistic plan to open the following summer. Unfortunately for waterslide enthusiasts, construction delays pushed that estimate back, and the new opening is slated for May 28, 2018. That gives the city more time to fine-tune the project and make sure it reflects the priorities of the community that voted to finance it. As part of the renovation, the existing LaMont Does pool is getting tricked out with a zipline, rope swing, slackline and in-pool rock-climbing wall for older kids, while a shallow splash pool with playground is in the works for younger visitors. Other developments on the way include a lap pool, a lazy river, two waterslides, a 4,000-square-foot bathhouse, a snack bar and extensive landscaping to emphasize the waterpark’s theme: the great outdoors. Trees, boulders, animal sculptures, critter tracks and a rustic lodge style in the buildings’ architecture will pull the vision together, and local art will be a big focus in the décor, with custom woodcarvings by Bongo Love. Hoping to integrate education into recreation, city officials plan to hold nature workshops at the waterpark, and make it available year-round for use by the Thorne Nature Experience and Lafayette’s open-space educators.
—by Sara Bruskin