MINDEN, Nev. (KOLO) — The Public Restroom Company calls its products the "Cadillac" of the industry. It manufactures restrooms for outdoor parks and ships them to locations across the United States.
A crane places a manufactured public restroom in its final location before it's used
Founder and President Chuck Kaufman says his products are the very best and this is reflected in the amount of business he gets. "Hundreds of millions of dollars, all over America. We've flown them in by helicopter to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, to the top of Yosemite," he said.
The Public Restroom Company has put eight of its most fierce competitors our of business and is now growing by 50 percent each year, according to Kaufman.
The company is building a large addition to its site in Minden and is preparing to move into a 73,000-square-foot facility on ten acres in Hutchinson, Kansas. That will cut down on freight costs and will allow the company to expand and meet the demands of the market.
"When I first started here about five years ago we had 14 employees; right now we're pushing 68 employees," says Vice President of Planning Fabian Nunez.
Thirty-eight of those employees work on the manufacturing floor to build each restroom in an indoor facility.
For now, the company is just trying to survive its rapid growth, and that means recruiting the best talent possible. It's looking to hire 25 new workers.
"It's good to know that we're already booked well into next year and we're going to be busy this entire year," said Nunez.
The product is each shrink-wrapped and shipped to Maine, Southern California and everywhere in between.
"We determined early on that if we could find a way to avoid the smells in public restrooms, our clients would beat a path to our door and that is now taking place," said Kaufman.
The company adds a proprietary ingredient to the cement it uses to seal up all the pores. This prevents waste from getting trapped in the surfaces and allows workers to give the facilities a real clean.
The Public Restroom Company makes between 100 and 200 restrooms a year and there is a backlog of $3 million in work. It takes between 90 and 120 days to build just one.
The process of making one restroom starts with a mold to lay the cement. Large beams are bolted together and a large lifting bracket.
Vice President of Operations Ken Hackney says the lifting bracket is "used to lift it up off of here transport it to the concrete room and eventually lift it on site in order to place the building."
The mold is moved one room over and onto a platform 60 feet long and 14 feet wide. Rebar is added horizontally. The platform is heated to 58 degrees Fahrenheit year-round to allow the cement, once poured, to cure at a consistent high quality.
The platform is heated by a hydronic system, which is a series of tubes designed to carry heated water inside the platform below.
The solid cement foundation is then moved to the manufacturing floor. Holes are drilled around the outside of the foundation and more rebar is added vertically.
Hollow blocks are placed through the rebar and stacked and held together with mortar. Cement is then poured down the walls and into the hollow spaces to fill the gaps. This process connects the blocks, rebar, and foundation into one solid structure.
Next, beams along the top of the walls are secured in place and a strong roof is attached.
Safety is a key component with the interior design of each restroom.
"From the door handles being antimicrobial, to the layout," said Vice President of Administration Katie Sherin.
Silver ions prevent organic matter from growing on the antimicrobial handles, sinks and toilets and the stainless steel windows will never rust.
"The ability to hear people on the outside. So when you're inside, especially being female, it's nice to know that if you needed help you could scream and somebody could hear you," said Sherin.
Prison-grade sinks and toilets are installed in the restrooms with no exposed tanks or pipes for vandals to destroy.
The tanks and pipes are concealed in a separate room, locked away from the public. One soap dispenser flows into both bathrooms. A water filter removes impurities from the water to protect the low flow valves from damage.
On-demand electric heaters keep hands warm during cold weather. Each building is made to last 50 years and comes with a five- to 20-year warranty.
The Public Restroom Company also makes concession buildings designed make and sell food.
The company's big push right now is to hire 25 new workers. Managers are looking for concrete workers, rock masons, electricians. They're looking for workers with construction ability.
"We are always looking for great craftsman here and we have great benefits," said Hackney.
The benefits include a free catered lunch every day, indoor working, and a daily shuttle from the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno to the Minden work location.
"Gives them a chance to sleep on the way in and sleep on the way home," said Kaufman.
Dental, medical, prescription and hospital insurance for workers with no deductible is also offered.
"We have just this year added on 50-percent payment of their family benefits to add their wives and children to our plan," Kaufman said.
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