ATLANTIC CITY — After more than four months of work and nearly $4.1 million, seven newly refurbished bathrooms along the Boardwalk will be open by Memorial Day weekend.
The project, authorized by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority in August, was designed to cater specifically to families.
It was deemed as much needed by CRDA officials after years of complaints from tourists on social media and directly to city officials about the bathrooms’ poor conditions.
“I used to be the mayor in Belmar, and one of the things that we found was very important was to have clean restrooms, particularly for moms,” CRDA Executive Director Matt Doherty said. “In an effort to become more family friendly in Atlantic City and on the Boardwalk, we thought it was important to have this type of project to improve the restrooms and bring them up to a much higher standard.”
The revamped comfort stations, designed by SOSH Architects, feature brand new toilets, faucets, soap dispensers and hand dryers, all of which are touchless.
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“The restrooms had been in bad shape for the last couple of years, so this is a multimillion-dollar project to get them back in great shape and ready for tourists this coming summer season,” Doherty said.
Boardwalk Ambassadors will be assigned to maintain the bathrooms.
Each bathroom was designed with tile floors and walls in an effort to “provide a visual accent tying finishes back to the Boardwalk,” CRDA officials said in a news release.
The Mississippi Avenue location is a registered historic building, which required CRDA and SOSH to work with the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office during the renovations.
The vaulted ceiling and limestone features in that location showcase how the original building looked when it was constructed.
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The usage of the Guastavino tile arch system, a technique for constructing self-supporting arches and architectural vaults, will also blend the past with the present.
To further cater to families, multiple locations include diaper changing stations in both the men’s and women’s bathrooms. Each location also is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Doherty said.
The bathrooms are located across 4.5 miles of the Boardwalk at Chelsea, Mississippi, Caspian, Albany, Bartram, New Hampshire and New York avenues. The bathrooms at Chelsea, Mississippi and New York avenues will be open year-round, while the rest will operate seasonally, said Thomas J. Meehan III, CRDA’s director of project implementation and management.
New York, Mississippi and Chelsea will be open from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. from Memorial Day to Sept. 30 and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the offseason. Albany, Bartram, New Hampshire and Caspian will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Memorial Day to Sept. 30 and closed in the offseason.
Heating and cooling will be adjusted for the year-round locations.
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Renovations included gutting existing interiors and replacing toilets, urinals, fixtures and faucets, and installing new heating, plumbing and ventilation systems.
SOSH designed the bathrooms with surface materials that are easy to clean, Meehan said.
“The floors are specifically pitched so that everything runs to the drains, (and) the walls are designed so you can easily power wash them,” Meehan said.
Meehan and Doherty said they’re excited to unveil the improved comfort stations to tourists in the coming months.
“We’re looking forward to opening them up to the public, for sure,” Meehan said.
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