Montrose, CO – Site preparation for the new Riverbottom Park restroom facility is scheduled to begin later this month as designs for the new building are being finalized. Construction of the new facility should be completed by the end of the year.
Public Works Manager Jim Scheid delivered an update to City Councilors Monday, describing the new restroom facility as a larger, more efficient structure than the existing restroom facility and will feature large skylights to allow more natural light to brighten the inside. The new building will be accessible to all citizens by standards set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The new facility will have upgraded power sources so the city can hold large events in the park — like the annual FUNC Fest — without electrical shortages.
Scheid said Public Works is currently securing the building permits and finalizing construction costs before site work begins later this month.
In May, Councilors approved $398,939.75 for the original concept design in order to replace the decades-old public restrooms in Riverbottom Park.
The most notable change from the April design, according to Scheid, is taking into account the potential for flooding by the nearby Uncompahgre River. The current restroom facility sits below the river’s floodplain. Due to regulations, the new building needed to be raised three-and-a-half-feet from the original design to account for that potential flooding.
"It's mostly just dirt work, but it did force us to change the design," Scheid said.
Because of this change, the cost of the project will be higher than the amount originally approved for the project. The city's original budget for the facility was $550,000. Scheid said even with floodplain modifications the construction cost will still be under the original budget. He said the final design and cost would be presented to the council in the coming weeks.
Scheid told councilors the new facility would have large skylights installed to prevent the "dark and dingy" feel of the current facility.
"We're trying to build the opposite of that," Scheid said. "The new restrooms will be a lot better."
By increasing the building's energy efficiency, the square footage of the building went up as the price-per-square-foot went down.
Due to the raising of the building, new landscaping options with planters will be included in the final design. The facility is to be attached to a 3,000 square-foot concrete patio equipped with large ultra-violet sunshades.
Mayor Pro-Tem Dave Bowman wanted the project to address the electrical shortages that make hosting events in Riverbottom Park a challenge. Bowman said there is great demand for power outlets in the park during events and there needed to be more to support future events.
"This will definably upgrade what's available down there," Scheid responded.
The restrooms will be located just west of the current facility, and the concrete patio will be placed where the existing sand volleyball court is located. Scheid said the existing restrooms could be torn down in early October.
Ridgway Valley Enterprises was the sole bidder for the project earlier this year.
The facility will be closed each night from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. with pre-programmed automated locks, which will unlock the facility doors each morning.
The new restroom facility is part of the conceptual Riverbottom Master Plan, which will also upgrade an existing sewer line to improve waste drainage from the park.
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