Bathrooms in the Garden: Soon to be a Reality!
By Steve Poppe, Sr Horticulture Scientist
For the past six years, we diligently sought to raise the necessary funds for a Garden Pavilion. Thanks to many donors, we were able to raise $182,000 toward the project. Through the course of fundraising, we spoke with many people including our donors. We learned the Pavilion project we had in mind didn’t quite match up with the interest of a majority of our donors. However, one idea that kept surfacing was the need for bathrooms in the Garden.
In response to what we’ve heard, we changed our plan, and are moving ahead with construction of a restroom facility.
We’ve partnered with our colleagues within the U of MN Capital Planning and Project Management department, as well as architects from Studio E of Glenwood, MN. They have, and will provide, professional design services throughout the project.
One of the first steps was to consider the ideal site close the garden. We wanted to make sure that all visitors to both the Horticulture Display Garden and the WCROC would have easy access to the bathrooms. The facility will be located just south of the shady hosta garden. This site is close to the main asphalt road, potable water, electricity and room to create a septic mound.
The facility design is nearly complete. Our vision was to have the restroom facility look similar to a garden shed as to fit in with the garden landscape. The dimension of the bathroom will be 24’ x 12’ and have two unisex bathrooms including a maintenance closet. Aside from the standard bathroom fixtures, each bathroom will also have a baby changing table and electric baseboard heating. Our facility will the three-season; we hope to open it up in early spring, and close it up in late fall for the winter months.
Construction bids were sent out to regional and local contractors in mid-September. Our hope is to have construction start around mid-October. Depending on weather the septic mound system will probably be created in the spring of 2020.
We are very excited to share this recent development with you, and look forward to offering this much needed facility in our Horticulture Garden.