Department of Public Works St. John Deputy Director Ira Wade is happy the renovations to the public restrooms in Cruz Bay have finally begun, however he is concerned with the project’s timing, he said.
“I don’t like the idea of it being done right now, because it looks like a political ploy, but it’s not,” said Wade, who holds an appointed position.
The renovations, which are “a year late,” according to Wade, will take approximately two to three weeks to complete.
“We’re probably looking at it being completed by the first of November,” said Wade.
The delay was caused in part by fixtures which have not arrived, despite being paid for, according to Wade.
“We’re going to change all of the fixtures as soon as they arrive,” he said. “The vendor has fallen short on getting everything here on time. I was guaranteed for about the seventh time that they will be in here next Monday (October 2).”
Fixture Delay Delays Renovations
Once the fixtures arrive, renovations to the men’s restroom, which began the last week of September, will be completed, followed by renovations to the women’s restroom.
The delay of the arrival of the fixtures may actually help the workmen’s schedule, according to Wade.
“The thing that we are doing right now is dealing with the lighting,” he said. “If we had the electricians, carpenters and everyone else in there working at one time, it would be kind of crowded, so in a sense it worked out well. But, in a sense, it’s kind of frustrating that all the materials have not come in, because they have been paid for.”
Many of the renovations being done are designed to prevent vandalism and damage to the restrooms, which has plagued DPW in the past.
Renovations Prevent Vandalism
“Each individual stall will be rebuilt and covered with Formica,” said Wade. “When people write on the walls, it’s easier to wipe off that way.”
Automatic flushing toilets will help prevent clogged toilets, according to Wade.
“There has been willful destruction of the property, including toilets being stuffed full of toilet paper or other debris,” he said. “We will have automatic flushers, so as long as the batteries are good, the toilets will flush.”
DPW will also change the lighting, all the fixtures, the countertops and mirrors, making the restrooms brighter, said Wade.