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Wednesday, 16 November 2011 13:43

Waynesville explores fix for run-down restrooms at park

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A discussion regarding the fate of old restrooms at the Waynesville Recreation Park has prompted town officials to take another look at its recreation master plan.

The recreation advisory committee will not just look at renovating the run-down and often vandalized restrooms but also consider the “wider use of that area,” said Assistant Town Manager Alison Melnikova.

The town wants to replace the old restrooms located between the Waynesville playground and tennis courts off Marshall Street. The brick bathhouse dates back to the town’s former outdoor pool, which was bulldozed 10 years ago.

The restrooms have been vandalized several times over the years, and despite frequent cleanings of the facilities, the inside of the restrooms were usually trashed with graffiti and occasionally the sinks and fixtures were ripped off the walls. The state of the bathrooms have been a source of complaints from the public.

In May, arsonists set the restrooms on fire. The town received about $97,000 in insurance money as a result. It could go a long way toward renovating the restrooms and adjacent maintenance storage.

“With some work, we feel that it is possible that the building might be converted for year-around restrooms and that perhaps the other space could be renovated and used for storage or even meetings for clubs or groups connected with various recreation programs,” Town Manager Lee Galloway wrote in a report for the board of aldermen earlier this month.

The town board decided to hold off on moving ahead with renovations to the restrooms, however, and instead revisit long-range plans for the park through the recreation master plan.

Currently, a chain-link fence surrounds the restrooms, and the town has put out port-a-johns for people to use instead.

The town’s master plan was created in 2006 and details possible improvements to Waynesville’s parks. The plan would turn the area near the dilapidated restrooms into a putt-putt course and indoor tennis facility.

The parks and recreation department plans to hold a public forum early next year to discuss the master plan and possible updates to the town parks system.

“The park has looked like that, as you see it, for at least 10 years,” said Rhett Langston, executive director of the Waynesville Recreation Center. “It’s certainly nothing due to lack of planning.”

However, the parks and recreation is not designed to earn much money, Langston said, and a good portion of the department’s budget has gone toward building and running the new recreation center, including purchasing new equipment and replacing the roof.

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