Tired of using the porta johns at the Rappahannock County Park? Inconvenienced by the lack of comfortable restroom facilities during the winter months? Unable to use the existing facilities because of a mobility issue? The Rappahannock County Recreational Facilities Authority (RCRFA), with the help of county funding, is addressing these issues by repurposing part of the pavilion structure to create a new accessible family restroom complying with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines. 

This is the second of three projects in the RCRFA’s plan to make the Park more accessible to persons with mobility issues. The first project installed two accessible parking spaces and a walkway to the pavilion.  The third project will provide an ADA-compliant accessible pedestrian path looping around part of the perimeter of the upper half of the Rappahannock County Park and among the recreational facilities. The feasibility study for this path should be completed by this April. 

This new restroom design addresses other issues raised during the pandemic. For example, the RCRFA had to close the existing restrooms because there were no cost-effective means to clean manually-operated fixtures often enough to address pandemic concerns. Porta johns, at a significant monthly cost, were installed as a temporary measure. The new design addresses pandemic concerns by installing ‘no touch’ fixtures.

The project will create the new restroom within the existing footprint of the pavilion. This family restroom will be ADA-compliant, pandemic-resistant and heated for year-round use. The scope includes demolition of part of the existing structure and the framing in of a dedicated restroom space. New fixtures will be installed per ADA requirements. These fixtures will have automatic sensors that do not require physical contact. The entrance door will be able to be opened without the need to grasp a handle or knob. The restroom design is intended to serve one family at a time, ensuring social distancing. New features will include a baby changing table and a frost-free drinking fountain outside. Year-round use will be enabled by heating the new restroom and heat tracing the related water system piping and pressure tank.

Permabuilds LLC of Jeffersonton was awarded the contract for the accessible restroom in January based on the outcome of a competitive bidding process and their satisfactory performance on a recent expansion project at the Child Care Learning Center (CCLC). 

Permabuilds broke ground on March 19. Fixtures have been selected and ordered. The targeted completion is the end of April, with the hopes that the new restroom will be open to the public in May. The existing men’s and women’s restrooms will still close during the winter season because they will remain unheated. 

More details about the proposed accessible restroom project can be found on the County’s BoardDocs website ( and search under Library/RCRFA for the Invitation for Bid. The project is funded by a county supplemental funding appropriation under Public Health Expenses partially supported by the Coronavirus Air Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES).

The RCRFA manages the Rappahannock County Park in Washington, in accordance with Chapter 47 of the County code. Its mission is to create and maintain a public space for recreational use by citizens of all ages and abilities.


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