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Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

Plans for executive bathroom flushed


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BROOKSVILLE - Russ Wetherington said he noticed something surprising on the design plans for the new utility administration facility on Wiscon Road.

The architect had sketched in an executive-style bathroom near Environmental Services Director Susan Goebel-Canning's office.

Wetherington, assistant county administrator for general services, said he informed the architect to get rid of the bathroom because it was never supposed to be included.

"It was immediately removed," Wetherington said. "We didn't ask for it. We didn't want it."

Wetherington said often architects will pencil in certain items on a design plan without consulting the client and that's what happened here.

Goebel-Canning laughed when she heard about the bathroom, which would have been located right by her office.

I jumped out of my seat," she said. "I said, 'why did they put that in there?'"

Goebel-Canning said the new building, to be constructed next to the existing utility maintenance facility on Wiscon Road, will have three bathrooms: one for men, one for women and a uni-sex bathroom in the lobby for visitors.

"I do not have a private bathroom," she joked.

The Wiscon administration building project remains in the design phase, the cost of which has been revised from $116,780 to $131,483.

That phase is about 60 percent complete, Goebel-Canning said.

One interior change already agreed on is a reduction in the floor space of the proposed building, from 11,558 square feet to 9,920 square feet.

The utility department can use the existing Wiscon operations building's conference room, which can hold large groups of people, if there needs to be a large gathering. Goebel-Canning said.

By comparison, the utility department's current administration building, located on the State Road 50 bypass in Brooksville inside the former Lila Dess restaurant, is 11,500 square feet.

County commissioners are banking on the sale of the Lila Dess building to help pay for the new administrative office. The county owns that building.

The new facility will cost an estimated $1 million. The project is expected to go before the building department for approval by the end of the year or early 2014. Goebel-Canning said it could be by the spring of 2015 before it is built.

County Commissioner Jim Adkins said often an architect will go out on his own and include items on a design that were not previously approved by clients.

In this case, Adkins said he doesn't believe there was any request by anybody in county government to put a bathroom-shower by Goebel-Canning's office.

He agrees with Wetherington that such a facility would not be needed.

"I'm glad they removed it," Adkins said.

(352) 544-5290

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