Why aren’t the park restrooms open yet?

First, the answer to the question on many people’s minds: Restrooms in all city parks will be opened April 1. The “season” for unlocked restrooms in Elkins parks runs April through October.

Why do we wait until April 1?

These restrooms are unheated spaces, so during the off-season the water is turned off at the meter, the water lines are drained, and the drains are filled with antifreeze to prevent damage to the plumbing and fixtures. As a result, it’s not possible to easily open them up on a nice Saturday during the off season, then close them again.

Although Elkins sometimes gets periods of favorable weather before April or after October, it’s too unreliable to count on. But by April 1, we can be pretty sure we’re done with winter–or with the risk of pipe-bursting freezes,  at least. As a result, the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission (which has only two year-round employees) budgets for seasonal staff members (who, among other duties, clean, maintain, and lock/unlock restrooms) only for April through October.

That’s why the parks bathrooms won’t be open until April 1.

Reopening Update for City Parks and Rec Facilities

No announced date for reopening Phil Gainer Recreation Center and Riverbend Park

Elkins, W. Va., May 27, 2020: At a meeting last week, the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission announced reopening steps being taken at city parks and recreation facilities. As reopening proceeds, the commission advises all park users to observe recommended precautions for reducing COVID-19 risk, including distancing from other people, frequent handwashing or sanitization, and the use of masks where distancing may not be practicable.

Playgrounds at city parks are now reopened. Use of playgrounds is at patrons’ own risk. The use of pavilions is discouraged but not prohibited; no reservations are being accepted.

The 2020 summer day camp program has been cancelled.

There is not yet an announced date for reopening either the Phil Gainer Community Center or Riverbend Park.

Please visit www.cityofelkinswv.com/coronavirus for more information about these updates (including copies of relevant orders and guidelines), as well as an overview of COVID-19 response in Elkins and West Virginia.

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