WAKEFIELD —— A new restroom structure at Veterans Field could be in place by the fall of 2024 if all goes as planned. The new facilities would be paid for with funds that the town got from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Town Engineer Bill Renault appeared at this week’s Town Council meeting to discuss the project and get some general direction from the Council. A public hearing has been set for Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. for a fuller airing of the plans.
Renault said that the restroom will be done as part of the ARPA-funded reconstruction of the Veterans Field parking lot and center island.
The restroom will be a prefabricated structure, but will be customizable to some degree, Renault said. There will be two bathrooms, which will each have two stalls. He used a PowerPoint presentation to show several different design options, all of which featured a pitched roof. Town Councilors expressed a preference for a design that also includes an overhang over the restroom entrances in front to give people waiting a place to get out of inclement weather. A water bubbler and a water bottle refilling station will be included in the design.
Several different location options for the new restrooms were proposed. One would place the building on the edge of the parking lot on the Hall Park side. Another option would put the structure adjacent to the Veterans Field bleachers along the first base line. The third proposed location was behind the Veterans Field backstop.
Town Councilors expressed a preference for the bleacher location.
Renault said that the building will include a storage room for the cleaning supplies that will be used by the DPW in maintaining the building. The restrooms will be closed and locked at sunset every day.
Councilor Anne Danehy said that she wanted to make sure that the structure would be aesthetically pleasing. Renault said that he would work with the Historical Commission to come up with a look that fits in with the area.
Danehy also asked about security cameras on the outside of the building. Renault said that he would defer to the Police Department with respect to security measures.
Councilor Julie Smith-Galvin asked about bicycle racks, which Renault said would be provided.
Smith-Galvin and Councilor Mehreen Butt also insisted that the restrooms be gender neutral.
Councilor Edward Dombroski asked if there could be space in the new restroom building to store the Farmers Market tents and equipment and get rid of the storage container on Hall Park, which he said looks out of place.
Renault said that it would depend on how much stuff the Farmers Market needs to store, as there will be limited storage space in the new structure.
As part of the reconstruction of the parking lot, Dombroski asked for clearer signage for the entrance and exit.
Renault said that spring construction is targeted with the new restrooms opening in the fall of 2024.
More details will be forthcoming at the Oct. 5 public hearing.