A stream of yellow and brown balloons and toilet-humor costumes came out for Sunday’s official opening of the Noe Valley public bathroom that was once supposed to cost $1.7 million, though its cost plopped down to just a few hundred thousand dollars.

It was way back in October 2022, a full year and a half ago, when a Heather Knight mini-exposé in the Chronicle decried that a new public toilet in Noe Valley Town Square was going to cost $1.7 million. That story blew up nationally, and Governor Gavin Newsom yanked the funding unless the city could somehow make it cheaper. Which the city did, when a Nevada company donated a prefab public restroom for free, which arrived last month but still needed its plumbing hook-ups completed before opening.  


The public bathroom technically started functioning last week, but a “Potty Party” was scheduled for Sunday to celebrate its grand opening. And Heather Knight was on the scene again, now in her role with the New York Times, describing the scene at the toilet-themed Noe Valley bathroom opening party where children “sipped lemonade and ate chocolate cupcakes while they tossed bean bags into plastic training potties on the ground.”


The Chronicle has more color from the Potty Party, including video of an acrobat doing a dance routine with a plunger, dressed in full Mario costume.  Apparently about 100 people attended Sunday, and the Chronicle says that “Children circled a maypole clutching long strands of toilet paper,” and we will note that maypole was scatologically decorated.

"Noe Valley, let's hear it for our 'not-1.7-million-dollar-bathroom,'" event organizer Leslie Crawford announced to the crowd, according to KPIX.

And state Assemblymember Matt Haney came too, straight from Cherry Blossom Festival duty, and declared on Facebook that “It wasn't 1.7 million (just a couple hundred thousand) and isn't gold plated, but it's worth its weight in gold to this community!” Note the tightrope act Haney must walk here, considering he’s the one that got the $1.7 million approved before this became a scandal, and he must now pivot from a bring-home-the-bacon lawmaker to a guy who’s appearing to root out government waste.  

The Chronicle notes that the final cost of this prefab public restroom came out to “about $200,000” though we've seen other numbers tossed around in recent months.


Related: Formerly $1.7 Million Toilet Has Arrived In Noe Valley (But Won’t Function For Another Three Weeks) [SFNews]

Image: @NoeValleyDems via Twitter