MEDINA — City officials say it will cost substantially more to transform the vacant Key Bank drive-through on Public Square into a visitor’s center and public restrooms.
The city agreed to purchase the building in August 2013 for $317,199 and estimated renovation costs at $180,000.
On Monday, City Council’s Finance Committee recommended spending $250,000 to restore the building — $70,000 more than members originally planned in March — based on renovation plans designed by South Euclid architect Kevin C. Robinette.
“It will cost a little more than we thought, but in the end it will look nice and be worth it,” At-large Councilman Bill Lamb said.
Lamb said the hike in the price tag can be attributed to the amount of money it will take to enclose the drive-through portion of the building and to run water and sewer lines to the building.
The city’s plan calls for 10 toilets in each of the men’s and women’s restrooms plus a family restroom.
The only public bathrooms available on Public Square are housed inside the old firehouse and are small and outdated.
Lamb said the lack of public bathrooms means the city must bring in portable toilets for major events, such as the International Festival and Candlelight Walk.
“We have put so much work into the downtown,” he said. “I think that everyone in the administration recognized that putting port-a-pots in front of the buildings degrades the square.
“We focus on the square because it is the economic engine of the city.”
Service Director Nino Piccoli said he hopes to award bids to trade unions by the end of July and start construction in early August.
Piccoli said the project will take about 60 days to complete.
Finance Director Keith Dirham said the project will be funded through the city’s capital projects fund.
The Key Bank building had been leased to the nearby Cool Beans coffee house for use as drive-through.
Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.