Harbor Staff May Install Showers in Harbor Building, Take Action on Shelikof Restroom Building

Shelikof restroom building located near the harbor building. Photo courtesy of Harbormaster's Office
Shelikof restroom building located near the harbor building. Photo courtesy of Harbormaster’s Office

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The harbor staff is considering renovations to the harbor building and taking action on the Shelikof restroom building downtown. Harbormaster Lon White gave an overview to the Kodiak City Council at its work session Tuesday night. The current changes to the harbor building, which contains the harbor staff offices, would include setting up a common area with a kitchenette and installing unisex shower rooms.

Meanwhile, harbor staff also wants to make changes to the Shelikof restroom building. White said the covered area provides a space for “unsavory” activity such as drinking, which he has to monitor on a regular basis. He suggested a few solutions.

“Option one is modifying the existing, and I say we’ve been doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. That’s the definition of insanity, right? We need to try something over there to improve the usability of it to our customers [from] who we’ve heard multiple complaints. The second option is to repurpose the building. If it was totally rented out, we could put a fish and chip shack, a coffee shop, or any other type of business in there.”

He said the third idea was to demolish the building, which he said he wouldn’t recommend because the building is a fortified bunker made almost entirely of concrete and demolition would be upwards of $200,000.

Councilman John Whiddon said he thinks the only way to stop the loitering would be to repurpose the building.

“I would like to see some thought given, if we could repurpose this and solve this problem, what possible other uses could we use for… put in this building? Not that you would change the restrooms to offices, but you never know. But even if you had a window to look out into the harbor so it was visible what was going on, you could see it inside and outside, there would be reason to make it less likely for people to loiter around this.”

As for the renovations to the harbor building, White talked about introducing coin-operated showers and the council discussed whether the facilities should be open to the public on a daily basis or only to harbor customers.

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