Restroom facilities approved at NMHS
Green Wave athletes, coaches, staff and fans spend countless hours around the Joseph Wiser Athletic Complex at New Milford High School.
Chances are, some of them require a bathroom break.
Right now, they can use two year-round portable toilets near the Booster Club's concession barn or a couple more temporary toilets the athletic department has brought in for the fall sports season.
The cost of maintaining the year-round toilets is $360 a month.
Club members are frank that all these toilets -- despite routine cleanups -- become "disgusting,'' a last resort for parents and visitors who attend the games. So they have decided to do what they can to make fans more comfortable.
The Boosters plan to build handicap-accessible, six-stall men and women's bathrooms on the back of the Booster Barn. Several high schools at which New Milford teams play have added similar bathroom facilities.
The club's goal is to start the $40,000 project by summer and have it completed in three to six months.
At Dec. 2's Board of Education facilities meeting, club president Martin Monteiro said the project will rely on a lot of volunteer labor and would be phased in as money is raised.
He and his fellow club leaders hope a couple of fundraisers between now and spring, as well as potential grants and private donations, will cover expenses. They will try to attract other civic organizations and local builders to get involved in the project.
"Why it hasn't been done before, I don't know,'' said Mr. Monteiro, who noted the issue came up this year when the club was arranging for the concession stand to be equipped with running water. "We have a need.''
The club has already done some groundwork to ensure the project is feasible. A design was sketched by two former students, Matt Carlson and Mike Viklund -- but before proceeding with permits and other approvals the club needs district support, Mr. Monteiro said.
The club's intent is to donate the completed facility to the school, with maintenance then the district's responsibility, he said.
School district facilities manager John Calhoun said he expects those costs would be minimal, possibly even less than renting portable toilets.
Committee members approved the plan and sent it to the entire board on Tuesday. The education board as a whole approved the plan that night.
"I think this is a great thing,'' said board chairman Wendy Faulenbach. "We are so fortunate to have people are willing to do this."