Romtec completes numerous building projects with municipal parks & rec departments. The most common structural need these departments have are typically related to providing or expanding public restrooms at a park or recreation facility. For many communities, constructing a new public restroom building is a great improvement to a facility because it represents such a clear value to taxpayers. Many cities and municipalities across the country are finding that it is valuable to add public utility features into a new restroom building. This is a great way to make use of a new building that enhances public amenities while also helping operations personnel, maintenance crews, and the budget of public departments.
Combining projects for new facilities can seem like a no brainer, but it actually requires a good amount of planning for a public body. The biggest hurdle is typical centered on how budgets are defined. Since a utility district and parks & rec department will have separate budgets, it can be difficult to organize spending from each for a single facility. In addition to the budget, the land use can also be something that needs to be figured out. Parks & rec land may not have the accessibility for utilities personnel or it may be outright prohibited for using public land for multiple purposes. Despite these challenges, many municipalities are finding resolutions to these issues.
When public organizations can agree on funding and land use, combining facilities is a great advantage and a responsible use of public funds. There are many ways to combine facilities. Typically, Romtec has seen public organizations combine functions like restrooms with maintenance, but increasingly, we are seeing facilities that combine public restrooms with space for telecommunications equipment, pump stations, booster systems, metering stations, vehicle storage, and even offices. Each pubic facility can combine any number of features for public personnel when an experienced design-build firm like Romtec is used. Depending on the building requirements, Romtec has successfully worked through many building departments to get mixed-use building design approved.
Any building, whether public or private, is subject to classification for code requirements. Buildings that combine facilities, like an office with a public restroom and a control room, can have multiple classifications. Typically, these classifications are related to human occupancy, but they can also be related to the equipment being installed in the building. Control rooms can include electrical panels that require ventilation, fire suppression, and security to meet code requirements. Office space can require windows for egress, HVAC, and lighting levels for brightness. Meeting various code requirements for combined and mixed-use facilities can be a challenge, but working with a company like Romtec will ensure public agencies and municipalities get their required facilities designed correctly and approved by their building department.
Combining public utilities and services into the design and construction of a new public restroom is a very good practice for saving public funds. Despite the challenges, many Romtec customers have succeeded in working through the process to procure these valuable buildings. Romtec offers our customers the design expertise and public work experience necessary to help produce these types of successful projects. To learn more about our combined facility building models or how to get started on your new building design, contact Romtec today!