SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — “Phase 1” in the Glendale Park project, set to be developed on the former Raging Waters site, is now underway as the Salt Lake City Council approved it unanimously on Tuesday, Mar. 21.

Construction on the new 17-acre Glendale Park will finally start this summer after years of discussion and planning.

The former Raging Waters water park site on 1700 South has been a major focus for public lands planners over the past few years as the rundown site appeared to attract trespassers and crime rather than families and picnics since its official closure in 2018.

In order to transform the site into a useful space for the community, city planners sought engagement from the public to see what amenities they would most like to see.

“Over the past couple of years, we’ve been working with the community to kind of develop this big vision that is shown within the Glendale Park Plan which was adopted on Tuesday,” Salt Lake City Public Lands Planner Kat Maus said.

While seeking public engagement, they learned that many residents living on the west side of the city would travel east to areas like Liberty Park to meet their recreational needs.

As “a nod to the old raging waters site,” Maus said the public gave feedback requesting access to water recreation, such as a pool and better use of the Jordan River among other things. While the pool will likely not be completed with the first phase, this phase includes an all-ages, all-abilities playground, sports areas, and lawns and pathways.

Last November, voters approved the funds for the project on the ballot. This week, the city council approved the first phase of the plan unanimously, allowing for construction on the park to officially start. The first phase’s deadline for completion is April 2024, according to Maus.

While the area has not attracted the safest kind of attention since its abandonment, Maus says safety is a huge focus for the team. According to Maus, the best way to keep public spaces safe is for them to be used often, year-round and into the evening hours. Public lands planners are already coordinating events and amenities to keep the park active during all seasons and times.

When completed, the park will be the newest regional park in the area in over 60 years.

To learn more about the Glendale Park plan and ways to provide your own feedback, click here.