Grant money helped pay for the purchase and installation of storm-secure bathrooms at the B-29 Museum Complex north of Pratt.
Concrete bathrooms recently completed at the B-29 Museum complex just north of Pratt are sturdy enough to considered a storm shelter should the need ever arise. Located at the Pratt Army Airfield just off U.S. Highway 281, the bathrooms are visible progress that the museum board has made in recent months and they continue to improve and enhance their museum exhibits.
"The bathrooms came in one big piece," said museum board director George Stevens. "Terry Arnett lifted it off the truck they came in on for us with his crane. They are solid and sturdy."
The completed facilities, one side for men, one side for women, sit on two inches of styrofoam insulation and are vented with lights and fans. It is 17-feet-long and almost 8-feet-wide.
"They are heated in the winter because of the plumbing in there," Stevens said.
The bathrooms are open 24-7 should anyone walking on the museum path or visiting any of the other buildings in the complex suddenly need to seek shelter from a storm.
"The bathroom building weights 47,000 pounds. It should be safe," Stevens said.
The cost of construction, $55,300, was paid for by funds from a Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism grant, supplemented by donations and memberships sold by board members.
"We are now up to 562 members," said membership chairman Ed Tatro. "But we are always looking for more."
The walking path sidewalk around the museum grounds is half finished and people are enjoying walking in the area already. Stevens said his group was getting ready to solicit bids for the completion of the second half of the sidewalk path in the very near future.
In the meantime, should a storm arise, or basic human functions call, the bathrooms are complete and ready for action, thanks to a board that continues to look for ways to remember the past and pave the way to the future.