MANTI—Fairgoers will be relieved to know that county commissioners have paved the way for a new, permanent restroom building to be constructed at the Sanpete County Fairgrounds.
After years of inadequate restroom facilities at the county fairgrounds, including only portable toilets being available the past couple of years, progress is being made on the construction of a permanent facility, perhaps to be completed before this year’s county fair.
Plans for the building have been in the works for a long time. The county commissioned Jones and DeMille Engineering of Richfield to design the new facility, which would incorporate expanded restrooms, a ticket booth and a concession stand. But Commissioner Scott Bartholomew said the cost of that design would have been somewhere around $750,000. “There is no way the county could afford that,” he said.
The county put the project out for another design proposal and the winning company was Savage Engineering. Savage’s new design was for restrooms only and eliminated the ticket booth and concession stand. The county reapproached Jones and DeMille to redesign to the new specifications, but their cost estimate still came in over $150,000 more than the Savage design.
On that basis, the county awarded Savage the design contract, and they are now preparing and issuing bid requests to contractors.
Funding came when the county was able to access American Rescue Plan funds that have allowed them to commit $481,000 for project construction. Commissioner Reed Hatch says construction will begin immediately after the construction bids are in.
According to Hatch, the new facility will be much larger than the old one, which often had long wait times, especially for women. The new bathroom facility will feature 51 stalls. He said the formula was one seat per 125 people. He said the county figured that on busy nights, they might serve a crowd of up to 6,000 patrons.
Hatch said the county has not abandoned plans for the ticket booth and concession stand. “We will stub out utility connections in anticipation of their eventual addition,” he said.
Hatch said the only potential glitch in getting the building ready for this year was being able to find contractors who can do the work in a timely manner. That same concern was expressed earlier by Garrick Willden, a senior engineer with Jones and DeMille.
Of equal concern is the availability of building materials. Although construction supply problems have somewhat smoothed out the past few months, they still pose a concern for having the building ready by late summer.