Construction on a new washroom and concession for Kinsmen Beach could be underway by September, as the District of Invermere looks to spend its resort development cash before the end of the year.
The $350,000 structure will include a patio, wi-fi hotspot and equipment storage area. While the new changerooms will have six stalls to start, CAO Christopher Prosser told council the plans leave room to add more stalls in future if demand grows.
Designers are also looking to make the building carbon neutral, and investigating wind and solar powering options.
“We’ll be bringing back a fully green building,” Prosser said.
While councillors were unanimous in their support for the building — which would sit on the site of the current fire-damaged and recently vandalized washrooms — councillor Al Miller said locals should get a chance to review the design first.
“This is a major building, and I think we should be giving our citizenship the ability to say, ‘it’s nice, have you thought about this?'” he said, adding he didn’t want the building to “surprise” anyone.
While Miller suggested throwing an open house to show off the plans, mayor Gerry Taft worried doing so would slow down the project, which would be funded primarily with provincial government money that expires at the end of the year.
“I’m not so sure how able or even willing we are to even significantly change the design of the building,” Taft added. “If a portion of the community comes in and says ‘there needs to be an indoor yoga and gymnastics space in this facility,’ I’m not so sure we’re willing to do so.”
Councillor Ray Brydon also suggested the design — similar to that of several other public washrooms installed recently — likely wouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
“Basically it’s a similar kind of post and beam construction, same sort of roof line,” he said. “It’s a pretty standard building that we’re building with all of our facilities now.”
“If this was a questionable objective we were working on, than yes we’d have to provide more public input than we have,” added councillor Bob Campsall.
“But it’s such a necessary step forward… and I think that the time constraint is such that if we’re going to do it, let’s do it.”
In the end, council signed off on the plans with only Miller opposed, “just under the fact we can’t get our citizens excited about the building beforehand.”
As a compromise, district staff are planning to have the washroom design on display at future Saturday farmers’ markets and will collect feedback there.