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GoG restroom plan OK'd; North Main facility 1st, but $ questions persist

The graphic above was part of a PowerPoint presentation by Colorado Springs Parks staff to the city's Parks Advisory Board Dec. 14. The text at upper left notes the recommendation to add two new Garden of the Gods restrooms. The color-coded map shows their locations, along with the two existing facilities that are to be renovated as well as those in buildings just outside the Garden itself.
Courtesy of Colorado Springs Parks
Dec. 21, 2017
       With plan approval this month from the Colorado Springs Parks Advisory Board, city staffer David Deitemeyer is hopeful that a reconstruction of the main Garden of the Gods restroom can occur before summer.
       “The next few weeks will provide more information to understand if that is feasible,” said Deitemeyer, the City Parks planner assigned to the project. “I would anticipate a better determination by mid-January. Our goal would be to avoid conflict with the busy tourist season by late May.”
       The building is next to the North Main Parking Lot - the largest lot in the Garden - at the north end of the city park, off Juniper Way Loop.
       Of the two current park restrooms, North Main is the only one open year-round. The men's room is a one-seater with one urinal; the women's is a two-seater.
      
David Deitemeyer of Colorado Springs Parks answers a question about options for the planned reconstruction of the North Main Parking Lot restroom during the second public meeting on the Garden of the Gods Facilities Improvement Plan Nov. 30.
Westside Pioneer photo
Considering that an estimated 4 million people visit the Garden annually, the plan is to expand the facility accordingly. As former Parks official Chris Lieber commented over two years ago, “The current restroom clearly does not meet the demands - on peak use days there are often long lines to use the restroom.”
       The process that led up to the Parks Advisory Board action - for what's being called the Garden of the Gods Facilities Improvement Plan - was preceded by two public meetings this fall. One consistent citizen concern was that the new restrooms be compatible with the park's natural beauty.
       The other existing restroom, at the Scotsman Picnic Area off Garden Drive, is also scheduled for reconstruction in the approved plan. It is currently only open in the warmer months.
       In addition, the plan calls for building two new restrooms:
       - In the Central Garden area, at Parking Lot 7 (on Juniper Way Loop, just southeast of Garden Drive).
       - In the South Garden area, at Parking Lot 10 (also on Juniper Way Loop, where the visitor center was until the mid-'90s).
       However, Deitemeyer has pointed to funding concerns. A total of $470,000 is budgeted for the project from the city's Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) fund, with a portion of that going to the design consultant, RTA Architects.
       According to Deitemeyer, those funds are insufficient to cover all the construction in the board-approved plan. And until RTA finalizes its designs, the amount of currently affordable work remains unclear.
       More information can be found at the project website: coloradosprings.gov/GOGrestrooms.

Westside Pioneer article
(Outdoors: Garden of the Gods)

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