GREEN: A portable toilet is located close to the entrance of Heritage Hill playground in Boettler Park. But on a recent visit, none of the dozens of children using the playground, nor any adults with them, would admit to using it.
There is a bathroom with flush toilets near the soccer fields, but that’s a long way to go when you have to, well, go.
And that one was just recently reopened after having been closed for remodeling since early March.
“Actually, we just went down to the Giant Eagle because I told them we aren’t going to the Porta-Potty,” said Rose Wadle of Stow, who brought her twin sons, Sam and John Wadle, 4, to the playground on the picture perfect spring day.
Folks soon won’t need to make alternate plans when the need arises, said Mike Elkins, superintendent of Green’s Parks and Recreation Division.
On Monday, a new 590 square foot, $203,000 comfort station will open between the playground and the Freda Hunter Bates Pavilion featuring four stalls in the women’s room and two stalls and two urinals in the men’s room. Motion and light sensors and sky lights have been installed using green technology in both the new construction and the renovated bathroom, and diaper changing tables are available in both the men’s and women’s rooms, Elkins said.
Space in the existing restroom, which is open for soccer and tennis players in the summer and sled riders and skiers in the winter, has been doubled in size to 525 square feet. The fixtures for both buildings have been standardized for easy maintenance, he said.
St. Clair-Pavlis Group of North Canton is the general contractor for the $380,000 projects.
School children flock to the Boettler Park playground for good reason, said Elkins. More than a decade ago, Green elementary school children who are teens and twenty-somethings today, told officials what they wanted installed in the community-built play area.
City officials listened. More than a dozen years later, the park is still a favorite of children who come from as far away as Carroll County to play on the hill.
“We built this with the help of kids. In 2001, we had a contest to see what the kids wanted to see in their playground,” Elkins said.
Financed in part through community fundraisers, children got the rock-climbing wall and zip lines they requested.
The 30,000-square-foot playground was completed in 2002 with the help of 400 community volunteers.
But if you ask today’s youth, a major drawback has always been the accessibility of a flush toilet near the play area.
Ten-year-old twins Ashley and Sydney Grisez of Jackson Township nixed the idea of using the portable bathroom Wednesday.
“It smells disgusting,” said Ashley, wrinkling her nose. “I’m glad it’s getting redone,” she said.
“I’ll wait until I get home,” agreed Sydney.
Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or email@example.com.