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Three Mission parks to get restrooms

The City of Mission approved the construction of new restroom facilities in three parks — Astroland, Catholic War Veterans (CWV) and Oblate. Each recreational area will have two family-style restrooms and two water fountains.

Although Oblate and Astroland are smaller parks (known as neighborhood parks) and do not usually have restrooms, Director of Parks and Recreation Brad Bentsen said the community has been requesting facilities in the areas. 

“Generally speaking, a neighborhood park is designed without a restroom because these parks are designed for people in the neighborhood to come play and go back home,” Bentsen explained. “But in reality, we’re seeing an evolution over the years where people outside the neighborhood are coming to the parks because each park has something different to offer.” 

The design for the new restrooms at Astroland, Oblate and Catholic War Veterans parks in Mission.

Oblate Park has a fair amount of trail-goers and tennis players who have requested restrooms, the parks director said. And even though CWV has toilets inside the baseball park, Bentsen said those enjoying the picnic area and playground outside the baseball fields need restrooms, too. 

Astroland Park used to have restrooms when it was built back in the 1960s because it was a popular space. However, the city removed the lavatories many years ago due to vandalism. Now, with the increase in popularity, the need for new facilities increased, as well. 

“People have been calling, not necessarily complaining, but suggesting that a restroom be installed there,” Bentsen said. “And I think it’s really just for health reasons and for comfort reasons for our park-goers; we want to be able to complement them and help.” 

Missionite and vocal community member Irma Flores Lopez praised the city leaders for their decision to upgrade the spaces.

“Restrooms and water fountains at Astroland Park — thank you, thank you, thank you. Water, agua at Astroland Park,” she said at the Feb. 12 Mission City Council meeting. “We’ve been asking for about nine years. I’ve been attending meetings and I’ve been barking. The children on the south side of Mission get thirsty also, they have needs. So now the next thing is the restroom. I can’t wait to have a gathering in March for social work month and invite the neighbors to attend.” 

The new restrooms in the three parks will be smaller than other restrooms at larger Mission parks, Bentsen said. Each recreational space will have two family-style stalls, with a handwashing station outside the lavatories for communal use. Two water fountains will connect to the building — including a water bottle filler. All the facilities will meet ADA standards. 

 

Bentsen said the city is just trying to keep everything within budget and inside the permissible space. Although they are still soliciting bids for construction, the parks director said they hope to stay under $135,000 for all three projects. The city will contract one vendor for all three park facilities. 

As of Feb. 13, Bentsen said he anticipates finalizing the contract for construction in about 45 days and breaking ground in about 60 days. 

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