CREVE COEUR, Mo. – Millennium Park in Creve Coeur has undergone a transformation over the last eight months, closing just after Labor Day for major renovations.

“We’ve done quite a bit of work through the great citizens of the City of Creve Coeur. They offered a storm water and parks funding through a sales tax for us, which enabled us to do a lot of this stuff that you’re going to see here,” Tom Delia, a project manager with the City of Creve Coeur, said.

The $2.5 million project allowed them to add a bandstand for concert events, a new playground with inclusive elements for children with all capabilities, and perhaps one of their favorite features: an upgraded splash pad 2.5 times bigger than the previous one.

“Which is about 3,000 square-feet. It features a Gecko named Ralph. It’s got flowers, shooting water misters, a rainbow mister, as well as a central feature, which is like a flower that fills with two buckets,” Delia said. “And then if the kids stand underneath those, they go crazy, and it splashes all over them. So, it’s a lot of fun. We love it.”

With temperatures heating up, it’s already a popular place to be.

Origins of St. Louis mosquito-borne virus now spreading in Nevada

“It gets a workout; it gets crowded very fast. It’s amazing. As soon as about nine o’clock rolls in, everybody starts filtering in, and that happens to be the big congregation. It’s a great feature that we have,” he said.

“It’s pretty nice. My favorite part here is getting wet and going down the slide really fast,” Ryan Leckbee, 11, said. “I’d recommend it to others a lot.”

Residents gave their input and are thankful for the new amenities.

“It’s remarkable, as you guys can see. It really has come a long way. I’ve taken a few pictures when they had the fence up and what have you. And now, with the sod down, it all has come just full circle,” Mike Kabbaz said. He lives nearby and often walks through the park. “I’m grateful it’s in my backyard.”

For Delia, it’s been a labor of love.

“Actually, it’s fun. It’s a passion. I told that to all the city council and I went in for the presentation,” Delia said. “I kind of have a personal stake in it; you know, it’s a reflection of me is kind of the way that I feel about it. So, I’m really excited and happy that I was able to provide some of the services and the management of this.”

Thursday’s official grand reopening begins at 6 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and continues with a RetroNerds concert in the new bandstand from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.