By Nico Hamacher, Graphic news intern

Newberg’s first and only free space to cool down in the water, outside of the Willamette River, opens this weekend.

Beginning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, the splash pad at Rotary Centennial Park adjacent to the Chehalem Cultural Center will be officially open for the public to enjoy.

The project came about after a proposal by Mortenson Construction. The company proposed the project as a gift to the community after it was awarded a contract valued at more than $20 million to expand and renovate the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

In addition to the many local donors and businesses who supported the project, Mortenson was also assisted in the construction of the park by subcontractors Lynch Mechanical, Emery and Sons, GPEC and others.

When completed the estimated cost of the project will be $70,000, Mortenson officials said. That dollar amount includes the value of donated labor and materials.

Mortenson often does small projects to give back to the communities it works in, but this is one of its largest.

“It’s all for the kids,” Mortenson project superintendent Jerrid Tompkins said. “That’s who we do it for.”

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