Folks in Lucas are a bit antsy: Things with the big toilet have gone awry.
Lucas’ Grassroots Art Center’s Bowl Plaza, which features the community’s only public restrooms and is billed as one of the best restrooms in the nation, is on the blink. That’s bad timing because the annual Adam’s Apple Festival is scheduled for Saturday.
“It’s not clogged up,” said Rosslyn Schultz, executive director of the Grassroots Art Center. “It keeps running thousands of gallons of water through without shutting off.”
The problem started a week ago, and two plumbers have been called. Nothing is fixed yet, and the water just keeps rolling.
“The men’s urinal is fine, but the women’s is on strike,” Schultz said. “We think we’ll have a big water bill.”
The latest diagnosis Friday was that parts need to be ordered to repair the automatic flusher, which keeps flushing continuously.
Lucas and its 407 residents are home to the Garden of Eden, which features the peculiar work of S.P. Dinsmoor. He was a retired schoolteacher and Civil War veteran who sculpted 113 tons of concrete into various religious and political figures in his backyard.
In 2008, town residents banded together because there was a need for a public restroom. It took them four years to raise money and design the facility, which is in the shape of a toilet.
In 2012, they opened a monument making Lucas home of the largest, most blingy toilet in Kansas. Last year, it placed second in the nation in a competition sponsored by Cintas, a company that designs restrooms.
“The merchants are really seeing the effect of not having a public toilet,” Schultz said Thursday.
The toilet will not be repaired in time for the annual arts and craft show, which features a noon barbecue, on Saturday. The backup plan involves using the town’s theater restrooms, Schultz said.