ALBANY—In a depressed economic time, the capitol of New York is spending $463,000 in order to renovate public restrooms on the third floor of the state Capitol building.
The project initially began in June and was intended to remove asbestos, as well as to bring the facilities up to standards with the Americans With Disabilities Act. The bathrooms were reopened with marble stall partitions, arches in the ceiling, and automated toilets and sinks. This is a change from the old bathrooms which contained stained fixtures and aged tiles.
Brad Maione, the Office of General Services spokesman said that the money was from a budget that had been approved by the Legislature. $55,000 went to the removal of the dangerous carcinogen asbestos.
Asbestos is a fiber that is mixed with other substances and was used quite frequently in buildings before the 1980s due to its chemical, heat, and electric resistancy. Once damaged, the fibers are released in the air and inhaled, becoming lodged in the outer linings of major organs. Exposure leads to various asbestos-related diseases such as the aggressive cancer mesothelioma.
Maoine also reported that the new facilities will aid in cutting down on wasted energy and water.
“The ladies’ room had two sets of stairs and the men’s room was difficult to navigate in,” he said in a statement. “The lighting was inefficient and plumbing wasted water.”
A few stairs were removed, making the ladies’ room handicap accessible. The number of stalls and urinals in the men’s room were reduced in a more efficient design. Modern lighting and plumbing were also installed in an effort to bring the facilities up to code and up to par.
The location of the bathroom renovation is the Senate and Assembly chambers.