Long-planned ‘a bit of everything’ waterpark could arrive in Riverhead by fall

More than 20 years after its first proposal, the Island Water Park amusement attraction could be ready to open in Riverhead in late fall, according to the project’s authors.

A 42.5-acre site on Middle Country Road in Calverton would house the water park and include a 49,200-square-foot multi-use building, a 6,000-square-foot multi-use building, and a 476,861-square-foot man-made lake, according to the plan. site. . Activities would include indoor surfing, rock climbing, a “Ninja Warrior” style obstacle course and electric bumper boats with water cannons.

The city council will vote on the preliminary site plan for the park at its regular meeting on Wednesday.

Eric Scott, president of Island Water Park and owner of Island Water Sports in Port Jefferson, told Newsday that the park was “for a long time.”

“It’s got a bit of everything,” Scott said. “And here there is nothing for the kids to do, so it’s going to be revolutionary for the kids on Long Island. All we have are baseball fields and soccer fields. It will be surfing and surfing. Ninja Warrior parks. ”

Scott said he decided in 1998 to build the park and chose a site near the city’s old landfill on Youngs Avenue. The city approved the park in early 2003, but construction crews touched the groundwater during the excavation. This led to a legal battle between Scott and environmental groups over whether the park posed a danger to the local drinking water supply. Eventually Scott, who said the delays were frustrating at times, sold the property.

Years later, Scott decided to try again with a new location.

“There weren’t any real adjustable wrenches until we were looking for a change of site plan for a bigger surfboard and a bigger patio… but we are fully allowed and we just have to go for a modified sitemap, ”Scott said.

While no serious objections were raised during the June 16 public hearing on the proposal, some residents raised questions about the water quality at the proposed site. Reiterating what he then told residents, Scott told Newsday that the water and soil at the new site had been tested and “everything was fine.”

Riverhead supervisor Yvette Aguiar told Newsday last week that she believes the park will be an economic engine for the local economy.

“The location will become a year-round family destination for the East End, offering hundreds of job opportunities with discounts available to residents of Riverhead,” she said.

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