Public restrooms are planned for Monument Square at the south end of Legacy Park if Monument Square District Inc. can raise the funds. MSD plans to unveil a fundraising campaign at this year’s annual Four Mile Run/Walk on June 14 at Melvin Miller Park.
The event typically raises money to maintain the flowers around the monument, but this year every dollar and cent will go toward the new restrooms, according to MSD President Vicki Deere-Bunnell. MSD board members Richard Colvin and Adam Moore selected materials, worked with Beasley Architecture & Design, of Bellefontaine, and are ready to request bids for a project contractor.
“We’re to that point that we know it’s going to happen,” said Deere-Bunnell. “It’s just a matter of rolling something out so everybody knows it’s going to happen, so we thought the four-miler would be a good fundraiser. We’ve always done the four-miler, so it’s an easy event that we have that we can actually donate all the proceeds. It’s harder when we do the Art Affair and the Chili Cookoff, but the four-miler is kind of cut and dry so we thought this would be our kickoff.”
Deere-Bunnell estimated that the project may end up costing more than $50,000, but won’t be sure until selection of an engineering firm. She said that MSD is hoping to find grant opportunities through Dayton Power and Light or Walmart, but isn’t sure how much the city will be able to help because of its already stretched budget.
“We’re the ones that got it started, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re the ones that are going to fork over the money, because we don’t have it,” she said. “We’re going to have to have fundraisers and it doesn’t have to be us, it could be the merchants may come up with something like a fundraiser, or maybe they’ll donate to it. Anybody can donate, we’re just the ones who took the lead on it.”
Plans call for two stalls in both the men’s and women’s side of the restroom facility, a brick exterior and cement flooring. MSD will be responsible for their management, which Deere-Bunnell said would be easy once renovations to the square are complete and water becomes accessible on each corner. MSD has not yet determined hours the restrooms would be available, but Deere-Bunnell said they would stay in contact with shop owners to find out which hours patrons request access to restroom facilities.
“A lot of the dealers don’t allow people to come in, so when you have visitors there’s only a few places they can go,” she said. “I know some of the restaurants will allow them to go in, naturally the banks will allow them to come in, but they’re not always open during the time people are shopping. I know you can go down to the city building, but that’s a block away from your shopping. It’s always said that if you have visible, public restrooms in a downtown community it’s very helpful for people because they may stop, and then they may continue walking around visiting the shops. We feel that there is a need because it will also help during the events. Big events will still probably have to rent restrooms – port-a-johns – but at least we have an option.”
Four Mile Run/Walk
Deere-Bunnell said the four-miler typically attracts 80-90 runners and raises about $1,500-$1,600, but she is hoping to double that amount this year.
Race fees are $25 if pre-registered by June 4 and $30 after June 4 through the day of the race, with no T-shirt guarantee. There is a discount rate for groups of six. In-person registration and packet pick-up will begin at 5:30 p.m. the day of the race at the shelter house above the adult softball fields in Melvin Miller Park. The event is held rain or shine.
The race starts at 7 p.m. and the course is stroller- and dog-friendly (on a leash). Post-race refreshments will be provided to participants, and community vendors will show their support with information and demonstrations.
This is a timed event and medals will be awarded to the top three males and females overall, as well as the top two males and females in each age category.
Participants may register online at https://runsignup.com/race/OH/urbana/RocktheMonumentFourMiler. For more information or to donate to the restroom fund, contact Deere-Bunnell at 937-215-7416.
Christopher Selmek can be reached at 937-508-2304