IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- Construction of a new Wild Rivers Water Park got underway in Irvine on Wednesday, with an opening expected as early as next summer.
The Irvine City Council approved a location and lease for the water park last April, and in November the city's planning commission voted unanimously to approve a conditional-use permit for the 20-acre project at Orange County Great Park.
"It is such an honor to be here today to welcome Wild Rivers back to its rightful place in the city of Irvine. We grew up with Wild Rivers and those summers of wonderful slides," said former Irvine council-member Melissa Fox.
The water park, which will include 20 attractions on its opening day, will be located at the intersection of Skyhawk and Great Park Boulevard.
Among the attractions will be raft rides, a tube slide complex, drop slides, body slides and a wave pool. Additional attractions are planned for the future, including a possible three-acre expansion.
"Wild Rivers is one of the highest employment opportunities for our teens. And so I'm definitely looking forward to all the opportunities our young ones will have to not only enjoy, but also work at this facility," said Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan.
A new city parking lot, with about 1,230 spaces, will be located adjacent to the water park.
After its grand opening, the park is expected to be open annually from mid-May through mid-September.