Changes are coming to the restrooms at Kiwanis Challenge Park in Gainesville.
The city will fully renovate the restrooms built in 1991 at the park, located at 2101 NW 39th Ave.
According to John Weber, parks manager for the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, the restrooms are run down and in need of a facelift.
“We need to improve them to make them cleaner, look better and more appealing to the public,” Weber said.
Renovations are expected to begin July 13 and should be completed in the next 60 to 75 days.
According to Weber, the total cost of the project will be between $50,000 and $60,000. This comes from the Capital Improvement Plan, an $18.2 million plan encompassing projects during the 2015 to 2019 fiscal years.
The restrooms currently have bare concrete floors, painted concrete walls and no working locks for patrons. The plan is to tile the floors and walls, install a new ceiling and improve the light fixtures for energy efficiency.
While the restrooms are closed for renovations, the city will provide a minimum of two portable restrooms and they may build up to three or four, according to Weber.
Some members of the community agree that the restrooms are in need of fixing but do not think portable restrooms are a necessary replacement. Community members Laura Ford and Deria Murray think there could be alternatives to portable restrooms.
Murray said she wishes the city would renovate each restroom individually to prevent total closure and the use of portable restrooms. However, she stressed that if there is no other choice then people will use what is available.
Kiwanis Challenge Park is the last remaining outdoor park to have restroom renovations under Weber’s responsibility in the past five years. The restrooms previously renovated include Albert “Ray” Massey Park, Greentree Park, Northside Park, Fred Cone Park, Lincoln Park and T.B. McPherson Park, Weber said.