Public Restrooms Might Be Coming To San Jacinto Plaza In Downtown El Paso
When San Jacinto Plaza was being renovated in downtown El Paso, one of the things that a lot of people wanted was public restrooms. After a lot of potty talk at City Council, public restrooms were not included in the renovations.
Now the City says they are thinking about putting in a visitors center with public restrooms right across the street from San Jacinto Plaza in building that is currently vacant. The building is at 112 Mills Street, which is right next door to the Kress building.
Ever since the San Jacinto Plaza renovations were completed and it opened back up to the public, a number of events like Celebration of Lights, Winter Fest, and Chalk the block have brought thousands to downtown El Paso to enjoy the Plaza, but if you need to pee, you'll need to go into a business and buy something in order to use their restrooms. City officials say they've heard from a lot of people who want that to change.
The City initially planned to lease a building downtown on Mills Street, but thought the more cost effective way to go would be to buy a building. A deal was negotiated with the property owner at 112 Mills for $595,000. All that needs to be done now is now is get the approval for the expenditure.
The last time there were restrooms in San Jacinto, they were closed down because they were used by homeless people and drug users. When I was a kid, everyone knew that the restrooms were someplace you didn't go because they were disgusting and dangerous. There are some concerns that something similar might happen if the City were to put in public restrooms downtown again.
City officials say they've thought about that and the restrooms would be open for posted park hours and Park Security would monitor them as part of their rounds. There would also be cameras outside the building and in the lobby area of the facility.
In addition to the cost to buy the building it would also run almost a million dollars to renovate the building. City officials say the project could be completed by this coming summer.