Macon water park delays opening, loses some features
People should have already been zipping down slides and relaxing in the lazy river. Instead, the Sandy Beach Water Park is still under construction.
“We didn’t get it open when we wanted to, but it was a very difficult job to do anyway,” explained the President of Spirit of America Theme Park and Development Jeff Franklin.
Franklin didn’t expect so many set backs.
“The weather to a certain degree and then the site preparation. This is a big lazy river, 12-foot wide, 700-feet long and it just takes a while to build them,” said Franklin.
Franklin admits he may have taken on too big of a challenge for his first project.
“A rookie season, a learning curve. I think it’s part of the process of anybody really doing anything for the first time,” explained Franklin.
He asked commissioners to amend their agreement on Tuesday.
“Really, they ought to abide by the original contract, but I was impressed that Mr. Franklin is really sincere in what he’s trying to do,” said Commissioner Elaine Lucas.
“I certainly didn’t, on purpose, say ‘Hey we’re going to do this,’ and then do something else,” explained Franklin.
Some of the changes are delaying construction of a third slide and wave pool for two years and holding off on building a permanent bathroom for five years.
“We’ll have the bathrooms out there for the first season, but they will be modular. They’ll be very nice, they’ll be air conditioned, well lit, new fixtures,” added Franklin.
He also wants to remove the volleyball court completely because of safety concerns.
“Almost $300,000 of tax payer’s money that’s going into the project and I want to make sure that for tax payer’s money, we get what we were promised,” said Lucas.
Commissioners will be monitoring the developer’s progress as he continues to build Macon’s first water park.
Franklin adds the park doesn’t have a definitive opening date, but he hopes it will open by the end of June. The park’s season will extend through September to make up for the set backs.
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