WHITE SETTLEMENT — Mayor Jerry Burns never thought he and other city officials were all wet when they wanted to bring a water park to the area.So they didn’t seem to mind when they got a good soaking after a front loader — carrying water, not dirt — dumped its liquid cargo on them during Tuesday’s groundbreaking for the 16-acre Hawaiian Falls water and adventure park.“We’re making our first wave,” Hawaiian Falls President and founder David Bush joked shortly before the deluge started.Bush, Burns, City Manager Linda Ryan and several council members were also doused with cold water from two firetrucks that sprayed even more water into the air.Bush, who has built 23 water parks worldwide, told the audience that initially he wasn’t sure that he wanted to build another park in the Metroplex since he already had parks in Mansfield, Garland, The Colony, Roanoke and Waco.But White Setttlement officials persisted, and the new park will open Memorial Day weekend, just in time for the summer crowds, he said.“The result is a $13 million park which is one of a kind,” he said.Burns, who also worked with Hawaiian Falls officials, said, “If you are not moving forward, you are getting behind. There were lots of bumps in the road and lots of times it looked like this [project] was going the wrong way,” he said.The park will be built at Clifford Street and Loop 820 on land near Veterans Park owned by the city. The city and the economic development corporation also approved funding the project with a $12.6 million sales tax revenue bond that will be repayed with sales tax revenue from the facility.The entertainment complex is expected to draw around 300,000 visitors per year. It is also expected to provide 300 summer jobs and 100 year-round jobs in the area.The adventure park, which will be open year-round, will feature multilevel rope courses, a military-style obstacle course, climbing and rappelling walls, and adventure climbing nets. The adventure park will be built above and adjacent to the water park.The water park, which will be open through Labor Day, features a football-field-size wave pool, a 10,000-square-foot activity pool with a floating water obstacle course, splash pads and water walks, and a 1,000-foot-long river.
Elizabeth Campbell, 817-390-7696 Twitter: @fwstliz