Ernest Werlin spearheaded the project and covered most of the expense, Sarasota city manager reports
Renovated restrooms have opened in Eloise Werlin Park, located at Hart’s Landing near downtown Sarasota, City Manager Tom Barwin reported in his Aug. 4 newsletter.
The improvements are a result of the generosity of philanthropist Ernest ‘Doc’ Werlin, for whose late wife the park is named, Barwin noted. Werlin “essentially adopted the park in 2015,” Barwin added. During regular visits to the facility, Barwin continued, Werlin looks for ways to improve the area “to offer more enjoyment for the public.”
Werlin enlisted the assistance of his friend, Christine Goodall, in the restroom project, Barwin wrote. She contacted developer Marshall Gobuty, who “ultimately donated the toilet hardware,” Barwin wrote in his July 28 newsletter. Werlin funded the rest of the project,” Barwin continued, including additional frame support for the building, new drywall, paint, handrails compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and baby-changing stations. Craig Holliday and his crew with Holliday Group General Contractors handled the construction, Barwin noted.
The renovations began the week of July 24.
Thanks to Werlin, Barwin wrote, “the park has been transformed from an unused strip of land along Sarasota Bay to a popular family destination with playground equipment and lush landscaping.”
Additionally, Barwin pointed out, city staff has been talking with Werlin about adding lighting to the park, which is used by many families after dusk.
Barwin estimated that 75,000 to 100,000 people visit the park each year.
“Following Doc’s lead,” Barwin added, “we’re working toward developing an Adopt-a-Park program to encourage others to invest in our family-friendly park system.”