OCEANSIDE — This will be one of the final summers residents and tourists will have to endure the present conditions of dated beach restrooms.
Rebuild and renovation of beach restrooms at Breakwater Way, Sportfisher Drive, Tyson Street Park, Wisconsin Street and mid-pier will begin this fall and be completed within a year.
“They’re many, many years old and have outlived their usefulness for maintenance and functionality,” City Manager Steve Jepsen said.
Restroom designs were completed and approved in January 2010, and a Coastal Permit to perform the work was secured in September 2013.
Currently the city is putting out an open call for bids and qualifying interested contractors.
“We’re looking for someone who has prior experience on a project of this size and complexity,” Jepsen said. “It would be great if several people who applied had built restrooms by the beach.”
Experience with cast-in-place concrete masonry units and constructing multiple buildings simultaneously will also be required.
This August a contractor will be selected to knock down and rebuild three of the restroom facilities and renovate the two others.
Restrooms at Breakwater Way, Sportfisher Drive and Tyson Street Park will be replaced by safer, more efficient restroom buildings within the existing building footprints.
New facilities at Breakwater Way and Sportfisher Drive will reduce the building footprints.
All facilities will include more restroom stalls.
New restrooms will sport a modern look, a wave roof and a row of individual access unisex stalls.
The building design provides safety and visibility.
“The updated facilities should be an improvement looks-wise, and there’s a safety component built into the project,” Nathan Mertz, city capital improvement project manager, said. “The buildings are oriented to increase the viewshed.”
Restroom buildings will include built-in shower facilities, benches and surfboard racks, and disability access. This will be convenient for beachgoers and allow one-stop maintenance for city workers.
Jepsen said restrooms are designed to be “family friendly.”
The restrooms on Wisconsin Street and mid-pier will be renovated with interior upgrades.
“It will be a massive redo of fixtures and finishes and knocking down some walls,” Mertz said.
The rundown condition of beach restrooms has been a concern for some time.
A year ago residents were calling for needed upgrades.
A Visit Oceanside visitor survey found the condition of beach restrooms deterred visitors from returning for another visit.
“Its a public relations issue,” Leslie Gaul, Visit Oceanside CEO and president, said. “We have received complaints from visitors who don’t plan to return.”
“I’ve watched the bathrooms become less and less desirable,” John Daley, owner of 101 Cafe, said. “It’s time we do something really nice and really smart along the beach.”
Once the initial five restroom buildings are completed, the renovation process for the bathhouse at the pier amphitheater and restroom facility immediately south of the pier will begin. Upgrades to the two-restroom buildings are expected to cost $1.1 million.
Money to fund the two-phase restrooms improvement project was set aside in June 2013.