Minturn’s new bathrooms a finalist in best restroom contest
BATHROOM OPEN HOUSE
Oct. 30, during Minturn’s annual Halloween celebration
6 to 8 p.m.
Free candy will be provided outside the bathrooms
MINTURN — The town’s new bathrooms have accomplished a lot in the half a year or so they’ve been here.
They offered career guidance to a local high school student. They encouraged visitors to venture out of the summer market into the Eagle Town Park. And last month, they became one of 10 finalists in the Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom contest.
To those involved, it’s no surprise.
“I was just a gal looking for some indoor plumbing while working the market,” said Michelle Metteer, the town’s economic development director. “It took multiple turns from what I originally envisioned, but I’m very excited about the end result.”
The end result is a piece of public art, a nod to the town’s history and a clean place to do some thinking. Also, it furthers the vision laid out in the town’s 2009 community plan, a document Metteer knows well.
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“We went to (the 2009 community plan) and really took a look at what this community wants to see, and the art in public places was a huge part of it,” Metteer said. “Folks said they love their history and they’re proud of the amazing mining history here. … But Minturn can’t really use their budget to go buy public art. So we have to look at every project that we have here in town as an opportunity.”
SERVING THE TOWN CORE
As Eagle Street was undergoing a redo, Metteer started pushing for restrooms to be added to the Eagle Town Park.
“Our entire core commercial area needed a public restroom area, and the Eagle Town Park was the closest piece of public land to that area,” Metteer said.
Town Planner Janet Hawkinson started working with the Minturn-based 3-D printing company LGM to make the bathrooms an homage to the town’s mining history, modeled after what’s called an adit, or a horizontal passageway into a mine. LGM enlisted in the help of an intern, local high school student and Minturn native Mason Vance, to give the town the best possible deal on what would normally be an expensive project.
Along the way, Vance discovered he has a knack for computer modeling.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” Vance said. “But having that opportunity and working with those people led me to where I am now.”
Vance is now studying industrial design at Savannah College of Art and Design. On Wednesday, he learned the bathrooms were a finalist in the Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom contest. He said he wasn’t surprised to hear it.
“I thought they were a really cool idea,” he said. “I’m glad I could help in the development.”
He also said they were a needed improvement to his town.
Being just steps away from the Minturn Market, the Eagle Town Park proved to be a perfect area for this summer’s crowds, as well.
“The feedback I got was it’s worth the walk,” Metteer said.
Vote Minturn’s bathrooms in for the win by visiting http://www.bestrestroom.com/us/vote.asp.