At Thursday’s Regular Meeting, the Cape Charles Town Council approved design changes to the new public bathroom. The changes will incorporate a small visitor’s center as part of the structure. The additional cost for the design is $350,000. The total estimated cost of the visitor center/bathroom is over $500k.
The idea to incorporate the visitor’s center came from the architecht that was working with Cape Charles Main Street (CCMS)to renovate one of the old train cars to serve as the Town’s visitor center. While developing the project, the architect asked if the town wanted to consider the idea of expanding the restroom building to incorporate the visitor’s center function. It was argued that the cost of renovating the train, and maintaining it over time would be cost prohibitive. Combining the visitor center into the bathroom designed seemed to make more sense.
The new design is said to invoke a notion of Cape Charles’ historic railroad history. The construction should cooincide the complete removal of the last remaining train tracks from the historic rail line.
The CCMS Board approved the concept, as long as this did not slow down the development of the restroom.
Cost is still an unknown. The $350k is only an estimate, based on the architectural rendering. The Town is also not clear on where the actual funds will come from. With the the very expensive municipal center on the horizon (with an unrealistic estimate of over $5 million), Council members Grossman and Buchholz expressed concerns about the cost timing of expanding the project. The cost of hooking the structure up to town utilities is also an unknown.
Note: During discussion, Grossman did mention that selling the water and wastewater utilities could help fund some of this.
Town Council approved the changes with a 5 to 1 vote. Grossman voted against.