Pioneer Park Restroom Renovation
The Pioneer Park Restrooms are getting an upgrade. Starting in April 2023, the restrooms will be closed for renovations. These renovations will contain brand-new exterior and interior features, including two family restrooms. Once completed, the new restrooms will look fresh and inviting, and be able to meet the demands of the park. Construction is anticipated in the Spring, with completion in the Fall of 2023. The following page contains information on the project and updates.
August 2023 - Construction continues as scheduled. Exterior finishes are near completion with interior finishes to begin over the next few weeks. Sewer work is underway and remaining site work is anticipated to take through the end of the month. Some current progress photos of the restroom are provided below. The project is currently estimated to be completed by the end of September 2023.
March 2023 – A contract with Neely Construction has been approved by City Council. Staff anticipates issuing a Notice to Proceed on March 10, with an anticipated construction start date in the spring.
March 2023 - Beginning on April 10, contractors will install fencing around the perimeter of the existing restrooms and mobilize equipment to the site. The restrooms will be closed.
Constructed in 1990, the current restroom building has served Pioneer Park well. But recent changes and additions to the park have put a strain on the bathroom facilities to the point where constant maintenance and repairs need to be made. In 2014, the Spray Park was added to Pioneer Park, increasing demand for restrooms. This increase in demand has put even more strain on the restrooms over time, prompting a discussion to upgrade and replace them.
In 2021, Parks staff hired a consultant, ARC Designs, to design several different building options to be considered by the City. The consultant met with Parks staff and the Parks Advisory Board, through a series of in-depth meetings called charrettes, to come up with design elements that complemented the character, history, and aesthetic of Pioneer Park. These options were vetted by staff and the Parks Advisory Board and brought before City Council at the January 11, 2022, Meeting.
At the January 11,, 2022, Council Meeting, City Council was presented with two options, Renovation or New Build. The Renovation option would include expanding the square footage of the existing building to approximately 1,222 square feet and include both male and female stalls. In addition, the renovation would include two family restrooms. The family restrooms would be individually separated, private spaces where parents could bring their kids who may not be comfortable with using a traditional restroom facility. The New Build option would be slightly smaller, at 1,168 square feet. However, the men’s and women’s restroom stalls would be bigger and include one family restroom. Both design options emphasized natural lighting features and building materials that would be easy to clean and maintain.
After consideration, Council gave direction to come back with a new design that was a hybrid option of both proposals. Staff returned to Council at the January 25, 2022 meeting with a new option and a proposed scope of work from ARC Designs. The new design option included five toilet stalls in the women’s restroom, two toilet stalls and four urinals in the men’s restroom, and two-family restrooms. Council approved the design option and instructed staff to go out to bid.
In mid-2022, staff discovered that in order to move forward with the project, the City would need to vacate a portion of the right of way at Elm Place. This would be to accommodate the setback requirements of the new restrooms. Staff worked with DPS to get this resolved to move forward with the bid process.
In December 2022, staff went out to bid for construction and presented its recommendation to Council in January 2023. Neely Construction was the lowest qualifying bid and was awarded a contract by Council.
Why is the City upgrading the restrooms?
In short, the current restrooms are old and outdated. Plus, with the increase in usage of the Spray Park and Pioneer Park, the current facilities just can’t keep up with the demand. The current facilities are also not up to current code standards. For instance, the roof does not have a gutter system and the building sewer is served by a single grinder pump, which is also not up to current standards. For these reasons, we are upgrading the restrooms to be new, modern, more inviting, and up to our current code standards.
How much is this going to cost?
The total construction cost is $1.7 million. This will be mostly funded through a Local Infrastructure Financing Tool (LIFT) grant of $1.5 million that we received from the state. The grant allows us to use these funds for public infrastructure improvements, to which this project is perfectly suited. The remaining funds will come from our Parks Capital Improvements Project and various utility budgets.
Why is the project costing $1.7 million?
Renovating a public facility like a restroom is not just about replacing the toilets and sinks. The utilities, which allow the toilets and sinks to function, need to be replaced as well. The utilities all need to be upgraded to be safe and meet our code standards. For instance, the roof does not have gutters, the sewer is a single grinder pump, and the electrical wiring is failing. Those utility upgrades are a significant portion of the final price tag. In addition to the utilities, we also need to make sure the site is ADA-compliant. That means we need to install curbs, sidewalks, and parking spaces that allow this, which contributes to the total cost. The City will also be using high-quality building materials that will match the current facilities in Pioneer Park, most notably the Pavilion and Library. These materials will ensure the building lasts 50 years or more.
When are the restrooms closing and when will they reopen?
The restrooms are to close on April 10, 2023, with a planned reopening in the Fall of 2023. Construction timelines, however, can change due to unforeseen circumstances. We will update the public about delays in our project update section of this webpage.
Where can I use the bathroom during construction?
We will have portable toilets near the current restroom site in the interim. Folks can also use the restrooms in the Library during regular business hours.
Is this going to impact the Farmers Market and other events?
We’ve been communicating with our local event partners, such as PMSA, on this project. We do not foresee any issues with the restrooms being closed impacting events such as the farmers market. The site and adjacent parking lot on Elm Place will be closed off to the public during the events, and construction will take place during weekdays when events are not happening in the park. For events that do happen on weekdays, such as our Summer Concert Series, we’ll work with the contractor to minimize the impacts of construction.
What is being upgraded in the restrooms?
The current women’s room contains two stalls. This will go to five toilet stalls once completed. The current men’s room has one toilet stall and two urinals. This will go to two toilet stalls and four urinals. Additionally, the new restrooms will have two family rooms, which are separate, private rooms where families can change clothes, diapers, etc. We'll also upgrade all the building utilities to be safe and code compliant. The building will also get new, natural lighting features that will brighten the facility and make it more welcoming. The City is also making ADA improvements to the site, which include parking stalls, ramps, and sidewalks to allow better access to the facility.
What was the process for the restroom design?
In 2021, Parks staff hired a consultant, ARC Designs, to design several different building options to be considered by the City. The consultant met with Parks staff and the Parks Advisory Board, through a series of in-depth meetings called charrettes, to come up with design elements that complemented the character, history, and aesthetic of Pioneer Park. These options were vetted by staff and the Parks Advisory Board and brought before City Council at the January 11, 2022, Meeting. At the Meeting, City Council was presented with two options, Renovation or New Build. Council asked staff to come back with a hybrid option of the two. Staff returned to Council at the January 25, 2022 meeting with a new, hybrid option. Council approved the design and instructed staff to move forward. In December, staff went out to bid for construction, and the Council awarded the contract to the lowest qualifying bid in January 2023.
Why was the project delayed?
It was discovered in 2022 that in order to proceed with the project, the City would need to vacate a section of the right-of-way along Elm Place. This would be to accommodate the setback requirements for the restrooms. Staff worked internally with DPS to get this resolved and move forward with the bidding process. However, this delayed the project to a Spring 2023 construction.