Lehi splash pad closed after vandals destroy bathrooms
LEHI, Utah — Lehi City closed a popular splash pad ahead of more heat Friday, after some vandals trashed the bathrooms at one of its parks in the most recent park vandalism incident in the state.
On a typical summer day, Ivory Ridge Splash Pad has just about everything kids might want to cool down and have some fun. But it didn’t take long for families showing up with towels and swimming suits, that the usually packed park was missing its splash.
“When I pulled up and there were only a few cars, I knew there was something going on,” one parent said.
“Kids get here and they’re all sad because the water’s turned off.”
Lehi City made the decision to keep the water off after a neighbor spotted people vandalizing the park bathrooms late Thursday night.
“It’s not just a bunch of kids going in there and throwing around the toilet paper. There was actual, physical damage that was done,” said Cameron Boyle with Lehi City.
Boyle says police responded to the call and found damaged sinks, shattered mirrors, and debris and towels shoved into sinks, urinals and toilets.
It’s not uncommon for the city to see vandalism at its parks, Boyle said. But “this is more extreme than some of the other vandalism we’ve seen.”
City crews had most of the mess cleaned up by Friday afternoon. But they still need to replace some sinks and mirrors.
“Because of that damage and the need to clean all that up, we felt like it was necessary to shut down the splash pad,” he said.
The city posted the message on its Facebook page, but several families still showed up.
Boyle said the splash pad is always closed Sundays but would also be closed Saturday when temperatures are expected to reach near 100 degrees.
The city hopes to have the splash pad and bathrooms open early next week before an annual city event.
“Crazy someone would vandalize a bathroom when it’s all these kids that are using it. When they’re coming here to have fun in the summer,” one man said, who was there Friday with his children.
“We’re frustrated as well,” Boyle said. “We want to find out who did this and hopefully prevent this from happening at other facilities throughout the city.”
Boyle said some park bathroom doors have automatic locks and the city was looking into installing automatic locks on all doors at park bathrooms. He said they didn’t have enough staff to manually lock the doors each night.
“We know that these restrooms are important, and we need to make sure they’re available.”
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