On Tuesday, October 20, Franklin County held a ground-breaking ceremony for the new restroom facilities at the center of St. George Island.
In August 2020 the County Commission voted unanimously to award the construction of the SGI Public Restroom to low-bidder, Storm Construction of Carrabelle. Almost all subcontracting by Storm will be going to familiar local companies also. Storm bid $450,000 for the project, which is being paid for through tourist development fees. The restroom project represents the largest public works project on the island from this funding source. Site work and construction is expected to begin shortly.
According to Dewberry Engineering who designed the facility, the new Pavilion will be built south of the Cape St. George Island Lighthouse Museum & Gift Shop, prominently located near the entrance to the beach access, recreational park, and west-side public parking area. The storm rated and fully ADA compliant pavilion is equipped with 10 water closet fixtures (5 men and 5 women in two detached areas) and three manual outdoor shower units. All water closet and lavatory fixtures are sensor operated allowing for a hands-free experience. The interior of the restroom facility is lined with low-maintenance fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) panels from wall to ceiling.
The accessible ramps and stairways all are connected to the existing sidewalk south of the Lighthouse Museum. The existing restroom facility will remain in place until the new building is operational. The old structure may be removed at that time or turned into a dressing facility to reduce the impact on the new restroom areas.
The St. George Island restroom project follows on the heels of other beach park and tourism-related infrastructure projects funded in recent years through bed tax funds administered by the TDC. Other TDC-funded projects have included restroom facility improvements at Carrabelle Beach, renovation of the Fort Coombs Armory in Apalachicola and the Olan Buddy Ward Seafood Landing Park which features boat landing facilities, a picnic area and maritime exhibit.