GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — You may soon notice a new public restroom at Heartside Park in downtown Grand Rapids.
The self-cleaning restrooms are the first to be installed in a Grand Rapids city park. The facility includes three stalls that can be used year-round though people won’t be able to start using them this winter.
One of the stalls is accessible to people who use wheelchairs.
For now, park visitors will have to continue using the porta-potties on site. The city’s Parks and Recreation Department hopes to have it operational in April.
“We are going to see how this one works out and make sure it works well in our facility, and then we can hopefully be able to roll out additional units in the future,” project manager Kerie Enriquez said.
There is also a time limit to keep visitors from misusing it. Plus, the toilet disinfects automatically.
“There is a cleaning solution that gets sprayed down and the water and then there is a fan system,” Enriquez said. “We will still have to come in and do maintenance on our own, but it should lessen that burden. We can monitor the usage of the facility electronically and remotely.”
A local indigenous artist, Jamie Shackleton, designed the mural on the building. It’s called “Connections to Nature.”
If more self-cleaning restrooms are placed at parks across towns, the department will use other local artists.