The Junior League Jurassic Jungle, a new dinosaur-themed splash park, is scheduled to open on May 26 with the rest of the City of Odessa’s pools after weather damage last year delayed construction of the project.
“We dealt with nature, but it’s ready to go May 26,” Odessa Parks and Recreation Director Steve Patton said. “And we are looking forward to it.
The $2.5 million spray ground, at 5700 E. 42nd St. just west of the soccer fields at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, was planned in part to address a lack of aquatic facilities in northeast Odessa. The Junior League of Odessa contributed $100,000 to the project and committed to providing volunteer hours to help clean and maintain the park for up to three years.
Damage from the June 2017 hail storm and another rainstorm weeks later forced the city to push back the opening of the splash park.
Patton said parks officials are planning an opening celebration for the day the splash park opens, which will include a free showing of Jurassic Park at night.
The city pools remain open through early August.
This year, for the first time, the YMCA will staff the pools after the previous contractor that managed them, COM Aquatics, opted not to renew its contract. The city awarded the YMCA a $172,000 contract in February that lasts five years.
YMCA Aquatics director Joe Rosas said the Y is still hiring lifeguards, with about 10 open spots. People can apply at the Y and still have time to get certified as lifeguards. There will be a total about 80 seasonal hires, which include pool managers, lifeguards, and other workers like cashiers, many of whom are high school students.
In the meantime, another Parks and Rec summer event begins Saturday: The Movies in the Park series. The first of eight free movies shown this season will be “Coco” at Sherwood Park, 4520 N. Dixie Boulevard, beginning at dark. Cartoons are scheduled to begin at 8:45 p.m.
Turnout for Movies in the Park has steadily grown since the city started the program several years ago, Patton said.
“It’s got quite a following, and we have a lot of people who really enjoy it,” Patton said.