Courtenay Place toilets to get $560,000 upgrade

19:53, Nov 02 2010

Men going about their business at a stainless steel urinal will make a return to central Wellington as part of a new publicly funded $560,000 toilet block in Courtenay Place.

Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean said time was definitely up for the four existing toilet cubicles at the Downstage end of Courtenay Place, which were routinely targeted by drunken hooligans.

"People just kick the living daylights out of them on most Friday and Saturday nights. Any fittings inside that can be kicked usually are kicked. We regularly find basins and various other things hanging loose."

They will be replaced by a block of six toilet cubicles with disability access, a baby-changing facility, and a men's urinal room – all featuring the latest anti-vandal technologies, Mr MacLean said.

"Everything that can be recessed has been recessed so you can't kick anything off. They are as durable and vandal-proof as you can get."

Another design feature includes a touch-free system in which a hand wave over a sensor will activate the main door, the toilet paper distributor, soap dispenser, water in the hand basin and the hand drier.

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The "return of the boys' urinal" has come about because men often allowed their girlfriends first use of a toilet. But then the chivalrous gents decided they couldn't hold on, Mr MacLean said. "The blokes are basically going off and peeing in the bushes and doorways. The number of complaints we have been getting is enough to bring back the stainless steel urinal. I am told [the urinal] will easily take six grown men with a bit of sway room."

The toilets, which are similar to blocks at Makara Peak and Mt Victoria's summit, will be pre-built and delivered to the site. They are expected to last for 15 years "but if severely damaged it could be unbolted and carted away to be refurbished", Mr MacLean said.

Three of the toilet cubicles and the urinal room are expected to be open all hours once the new block is completed in early December.

Portable toilets will be in place as the old toilets are demolished. There will also be signs pointing to the nearest public toilets.

The Dominion Post