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New schools in Washoe County (Nev.) district will have only gender-neutral bathrooms

Oct. 13, 2017
An elementary and 2 middle schools will be built without separate bathrooms for boys and girls.

All new elementary and middle schools in the Washoe County (Nev.) School District will be built with gender-neutral bathrooms.

KRNV-TV reports that putting gender-neutral bathrooms in a new middle school is a $500,000 upgrade, and slightly cheaper at an elementary school.

Tami Zimmerman, the director of planning and design in the Reno area school system, says the schools will have gender-neutral bathrooms only — no more boys' and girls' restrooms. They're individual stalls with full-height partitions from ceiling to the floor.

"They have a full door on them, not just a stall door," Zimmerman says.

Students will wash and dry their hands outside the stalls, where teachers and administrators can supervise them more effectively.

The gender-neutral bathroom concept came after consulting teachers, parents and students during the education specification committee process.

Washoe County Superintendent Traci Davis says the extra cost is worth it.

Each stall has its own fan, light and insulated door, contributing to the higher cost.

An elementary school and two middle schools in Washoe County will be the first to have only gender-neutral bathrooms.

It remains to be seen if new high schools also will be built with gender-neutral bathrooms.

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