Renovated Men’s Room inside the LIRR portion of Penn Station.
If you have been in or around the main waiting area in the LIRR’s part of Penn Station, you would have noticed some renovations going on. The renovations which started last summer were to the station’s restrooms & waiting room area. Yesterday afternoon, the agency announced the completion of the renovations via a press release. Here are the complete details from the press release I received:
MTA Long Island Rail Road customers now have new state-of-the-art rest room facilities at Penn Station. A major $5.5 million renovation project, begun during the summer of 2008, has been completed.
“We completely modernized and improved one of the busiest restrooms in the city, including doubling the size of the women’s room,” said LIRR President Helena Williams. “This much needed renovation will greatly benefit thousands of LIRR customers and out of town visitors and it’s open in time for the busy holiday travel season.”
Highlights of the reconstruction include expanding the size of the ladies room, with the number of toilets increasing from 17 to 25 and the number of sinks from 8 to 19.
Both the women’s and men’s rooms were designed to be more easily maintained and have a cleaner look. The improvements include illuminated glass/mosaic tile walls, non-porous terrazzo floors, smooth, non-porous surfaces, enhanced lighting, and a new fresh air intake system with continuous air flow from outside and enhanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, all helping to create a brighter and more open atmosphere.
Ms. Williams added, “The Daily News highlighted the poor ventilation issue in the Men’s Room shortly after I took over as LIRR President and I want to thank them. Their reporting got my attention and our customers are now benefiting.”
The new facilities also include touch-free sensor-operated toilets, faucets, soap dispensers and hand dryers along with graffiti and scratch resistant partitions and concealed plumbing to reduce clutter.
Penn Station rest rooms are among the very busiest in the City. Approximately 12,000 to 15,000 LIRR customers use the two Penn Station rest rooms daily. More than 230,000 LIRR customers use Penn Station each weekday.
In addition to the major rest room renovations, improvements will be completed to the adjacent customer waiting area. New 46-inch monitors will display track and departure times as well as service-related text messages, giving customers up to date, real time information. Seventy-six new cushioned seats also have been installed as well as new light bulbs.
The construction challenges faced during the work included maintaining operation of the rest rooms along with the nearby waiting room as the job continued. The renovations were completed within an almost 100-year old facility that rests above active train tracks.
I am glad that these renovations are complete as they were long overdue. If any of you have been inside the bathrooms in question, you will know how true that statement is. I happened to be in the station, the morning after Halloween but I did not go inside to see how things looked. Next time I am in Penn Station, I will take a look.
xoxo Transit Blogger