The longstanding effort to bring a public bathroom facility to downtown Mill Valley is expected to take a significant step forward at the November 5 meeting of the Parks & Recreation Commission, which will review the feasibility and location of two final bathroom proposals and choose between them.

In January, the Commission whittled a group of five proposals for a downtown bathroom down to two:

  • A stand-alone bathroom at the bus shelter near the southeastern edge of the Depot Plaza adjacent to Sunnyside Avenue. 
  • A new bathroom at the eastern edge of Depot, adjacent to the storage area of the Depot Bookstore & Café. 

Since the Commission selected those two finalists, updates to building code standards and the need to be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has added a requirement to provide separate bathroom facilities for men and women, which adds to the estimated design and construction costs for each proposal.

Local architect Kim Jessup, whose father Richard “Dick” Jessup, a former Mill Valley mayor who designed the Depot Plaza and first sketched out a downtown bathroom location in 1984, conducted feasibility studies of the two final bathroom plans and locations.

City staff then produced illustrated simulations of each location to help the community visualize a structure at each location. The simulations do not represent the actual design for the bathroom, as that process will be completed once the Commission, and subsequently the City Council, picks a location.

The Downtown Bathroom project currently has a budget of $10,000 for design and $150,000 for construction. Preliminary estimates for the two locations are as follows:

  • Bus Shelter: $130,065
  • Depot building: $235,117

The heightened cost for the Depot building bathroom in the preliminary estimates owes largely to the addition building foundation work, trenching for utilities and the removal and relocation of the sidewalk, according to Tim McSorley, the City’s Supervising Senior Engineer.

The design process for the downtown bathroom will begin after the City Council weighs in on the Parks & Recreation Commission’s choice of one of the two locations. The Commission will review a detailed design in January 2015, and the City Council is expected to authorize the project for bids and construction, which is projected to start in Spring 2015.

Your participation and input in the process is welcome and encouraged:

Want to know what’s happening around town? Click here to subscribe to the Enjoy Mill Valley Blog by Email!