Monday, February 29, 2016

Much Ado About a Shower

Recent commentary of social media points to a single 75 sq ft inclusion in the Schematic Building Program of over 77,000 sq ft as evidence of including unnecessary items in the proposed plan. Also, the Schematic Building Program is referred to as "blueprints."

Yes, a 75 sq ft Staff Shower room was included in the Schematic Building Program as a green design and healthy workplace feature. The proposed building is actually 72,000 sq ft, while the Schematic Building Program totals 77,000 sq ft. In other words, 5,000 sq ft of what is in the Schematic Building Program will not be included in the final design. The floorplans as drawn today show aggregate spaces for departments and functional areas.

A Schematic Building program is not blueprints, nor specifications, nor a final design. It is simply a set of instructions for an architect about what space to include in a design, how those spaces relate to one another and more detailed requirements such as: room sizes, activities, occupancy, and equipment needed. The final design process, which will include additional opportunities for public input, will begin after successful referenda. The process will determine what is included in the final design and specifications. This will include all of the things you don't see yet on the floorplans - study rooms, computer classroom, Teen Tech Center, etc.

Now here is the true irony about including a staff shower in the Schematic Building Program: did you know that the current building had a staff shower in the corner of the Boiler Room from the time it opened until late 2013? Yes, it's true. It was used primarily by maintenance staff after a shift of heavy outdoor work and staff biking to work. It was removed in late 2013, to be replaced by a large utility sink, at the request of Maintenance staff. That is the only utility sink in the building.

Providing a staff shower supports Bike to Work initiatives that lowers health care costs by having a healthier work force. Asking workers to bike means giving them a chance to clean up before their shift serving the public. It's what big, smart corporations like Google do.

Not only that, it can help address the concern over having adequate parking. Fewer staff cars leaves more spaces available for more customer parking.

So staff shower or not, over 5,000 sq ft of space listed in the Schematic Building Program will not be included in the final plan. I hope the public meetings to provide input on these decisions will generate as much interest on social media as the staff shower has!

1 comment:

Amy Roth said...

The new Santori Library in Aurora has two staff showers. We also had a shower in our former library, but it was part of the men's room.