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The new permanent restroom at Willamette Park, right, likely will not open until at least March 1 as the Parks and Recreation finishes up work that was required because the facility lies in the Willamette River flood plain;

The Corvallis Parks and Recreation Department installed pre-fabricated restrooms at Martin Luther King Jr. Park and Willamette Park in October, with the unit up and running at MLK by Mid-November.

The Willamette Park facility, however, although looking finished on its new concrete foundation next to the Rotary Shelter, remains locked and likely will not open until next month.

The key problem said Karen Emery, director of Parks and Recreation, is that the facility at Willamette Park lies in the Willamette River floodplain and a city permit is required, Crews also are completing maintenance work on a pump, and vents must be drilled to allow water to flow through in a flood.

In addition, the seasonal crews who will be tasked with cleaning the restroom, do not come on the job until March 1.

Crews from Blazers Industries of Aumsville built and set down the prefabricated restrooms, with Scott Taylor Construction of Corvallis handling the site prep, footings, foundations and utility hook-ups. Public Restroom Co. of Minden, Nevada, worked with Blazers Industries on the project.

Prefab restrooms are a first for Corvallis, with Jackie Rochefort, parks planner, noting that the approach is far more cost-effective than building them from the ground up because of rising construction costs.

Rochefort said the city chose Public Restroom Co. because it works with an Oregon subcontractor. Also important, Rochefort said is “they customize the restrooms to match adjacent buildings, so the MLK restroom matches the barn, and the Willamette restroom matches the Rotary Shelter.”

The restrooms cost $165,000, with the city using a mix of grants and parks system development charges (SDCs). SDCs are the fees charged to developers for infrastructure, such as parks, streets and sidewalks. The contract with Scott Taylor Construction is worth an additional $190,000.

Even with the lower cost of the prefab units Parks and Rec had to get a bit creative to make the project pencil out, Emery said.

Emery said the department moved some SDC funds from planned projects at Porter Park and the Chintimini Senior and Community Center to the restroom upgrade. Emery noted that the Porter project was facing delays because matching grant funds were not awarded. Meanwhile, the Senior Center project will not be completed during the 2018-19 fiscal year and SDC funds will be available in 2019-20 to shift back to the Chintimini remodel, Emery said.

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Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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