The future of the restrooms at the Hattie Weber Museum is on the City Council agenda. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise file photo

Local News

Central Park restrooms back on council agenda

By From page A5 | January 28, 2014

Learn more

Who: Davis City Council

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Community Chambers, City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.

Watch it: Live on Comcast Channel 16 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99; streamed at www.cityofdavis.org/media

A seemingly impending agreement between history buffs and the city will pose two questions regarding the old restrooms at Central Park: Will the history buffs come up with enough cash? And does it really cost that much?

The city is due to consider Tuesday evening whether it will enter into an agreement with the Yolo County Historical Society to save the old restrooms, built by the Works Progress Administration — a Depression-era program — on condition that the group come up with about $25,000 more than it currently has.

If they don’t raise the money within six months after the city comes up with a construction cost estimate, the building will be demolished.

According to a city staff report, the city estimates the cost to remodel the nearly 80-year-old restrooms and bring them up to modern code is more than $50,000. The city will chip in only $14,106 per the decision of the City Council on Dec. 17.

Hattie Weber Museum fundraisers have only $10,000 so far, bring the total money for construction to $24,106.

Of course, the city will have to hire an architect and put the project out to bid, keeping in mind the level of dry rot repair, making all entries accessible for people with disabilities, putting in new door frames, painting, new roof, removal and capping of all plumbing fixtures, removal of a 1940s era storage addition, a possible HVAC, and whatever else contractors might find that needs to be done.

Plus, the city must pay a prevailing wage.

Hattie Weber Museum Director Dennis Dingemans said in December he had talked to a couple of contractors about the project and had come away with estimates that were tens of thousands of dollars below city estimates.

“The fundraising is scary on paper,” Dingemans said at the time. “We think (the city’s estimate) is an exaggerated estimate.”

Hattie Weber preservationists have said they don’t believe a storage shed should have to comply with strict ADA standards, and their own investigation of the 1940s addition to the building revealed that the two sections were connected with putty, a supposedly easy-to-demolish construction job.

Donations to save the building may be made to the Yolo County Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) organization that offers tax benefits to donors.

— Reach Dave Ryan at 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews

Dave Ryan

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