Public restrooms in downtown Woodburn no longer a pipe dream
The city of Woodburn's project to build public bathrooms in downtown Woodburn is underway, according to city officials.
The public restrooms, which will include a total of three toilets and one urinal, will be attached to the Woodburn Public Library (280 Garfield St.) in the location of a long-unused drinking well near the west entrance of the library.
The project was given a preliminary cost estimate of $160,050 in late 2015. Assistant City Administrator Jim Row said the city will have an updated, more accurate cost estimate once the city opens the bidding process for construction next month.
With construction anticipated to begin in May, completion of the project could be as early as July.
The project's first phase is abandoning the well in the library, a project that in 2015 was estimated to cost $28,000. That project began in late January and is nearly complete, Row said.
The city opted to put the restrooms in the existing library space rather than construct a new building on library grounds, which would have increased the total cost of the project by an estimated $54,550. The restrooms will take up a total of 256 square feet and will feature a women's room with two stalls and a men's room with a stall and a urinal.
The project is the result of requests from Woodburn residents, Row said.
"We've had a lot of requests from people who patronize downtown, who often don't have access to restroom facilities," Row said. "Not a lot of the merchants have restrooms open to members of the public."
That problem is especially apparent when events are held downtown, Row said.
According to Row, the restrooms will operate with a similar time-locked system as the restrooms in Woodburn's parks and will be open during daytime hours according to a pre-programmed schedule.