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Kansas City spray ground sits empty in the heat after vandals damage sprinklers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In the summer heat, the water is definitely a good place to be and stay cool. But one Kansas City neighborhood says right now, kids have nowhere to go.

A popular neighborhood pool at Gillham Park is shut down this summer after several years with problems. And now, a popular spray pad nearby is closed because of vandalism.

Rahmir Gibbs and his siblings come to Spring Valley Park a lot, especially in the summer.

"I kind of live over here and I love to play in the water, and I like getting on the swings and jumping off and climbing up the spider web and just paying," said Gibbs.

But this week, one of the park's best features, a spray pad, has been shut down.

"I was surprised that someone would just rip apart something for kids," said Jay'Veona Whitley.

The Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department says this week, someone vandalized part of the control panel that gets the sprinklers going. As a result, instead of being filled with kids running through the water, the spray ground sits empty.

"That person needs to get caught," said Gibbs.

Neighbors worry without the safe spot for kids to spend the dog days of summer, they might do other things that get them into trouble. And kids know the park is a vital part of their community.

"It's a symbol that we can all just get together and have fun here at this park," said Whitley.

That's why the city says it is getting parts to fix the spray pad express shipped, and hopes to have the water back on in no time. And that can't come soon enough for every neighborhood kid left sweating it out.

"Fix it because it is hot out here," said Whitley.

The city's hoping to get the parts in this week and have someone come out to make the needed repairs soon after.