ANGOLAÂ â€” The old tank-style bathrooms at Friendship Park are no more. In their place stands a brand new, flushing restroom facility.
Built somewhere around 1998 when the park was built, the old facilities relied on a tank-style system instead of a plumbed system.
Park Superintendent Matt Hanna said the new facility is much safer in regard to the bad bacteria that can be associated with the old tank-style option. The new restrooms are also larger to be more accommodating.
â€śIssues with smell and perceptions of being dirty have prevented people from wanting to use the restrooms,â€ť Hanna said of the old restrooms. â€śNew restrooms with plumbing have created a safe, clean restroom for people to use when visiting Friendship Playground.â€ť
Funding for the improvements came, in part, from the Angola Parks and Recreation Capital Improvement Fund established at the Steuben County Community Foundation in 1997.
The fund was established, according to a news release from the foundation, to support the inevitable capital improvements needed by any parks department. With accrued interest and donations from community members, the foundation release says the fund has grown significantly over the years since it was established.
â€śThe Park Board has not used much, if any, of these funds since the inception,â€ť Hanna said. â€śThey have been accumulating interest for nearly 20 years.â€ť
The board determined the need for new flushing restrooms as a great project to use approximately $10,000 of the endowed funds for.
Overall, the project cost was over $70,000, with money granted from the fund used for part of it. Four Seasons Remodel and Design did the project which included running sewer, water and electric.
The old structure was completely torn down, Hanna said, and the hole for the tank filled. A concrete pad was poured and construction was done from the ground up.
Hanna said the parks department has already received a lot of positive feedback on the new bathrooms including people noticing they donâ€™t smell and are much better for accommodating families visiting the playground.
When the parks did a five-year master plan survey in 2017, many people indicated the need for nicer restrooms at the park. Hanna said this project has satisfied those desires.
â€śWith the help of the Steuben County Community Foundation, we had the ability to provide residents with the restrooms compatible with that of a city park,â€ť Hanna said in a news release.