Long Beach is installing new heavy-duty doors at its park restrooms to keep people from vandalizing the facilities or breaking into them at night.

The new doors are made from reinforced metal that will make them harder to kick or force open, and they have hardware that covers the doors’ locking mechanism to keep people from vandalizing them and making it impossible to secure the door, said Jane Grobaty, a spokesperson for the city’s Parks, Recreation and Marine Department.

Long Beach hired a company to install the new doors because of “continuous destruction caused by vandalism,” according to a city staff report on the topic.

The new doors will bolster the city’s efforts to keep park restrooms clean and operational through a “park ambassador” program that sends employees out to maintain and secure the facilities, where residents have complained about everything from clogged toilets to fixtures being smashed with baseball bats.

Typically, the employees open the bathrooms each morning and lock them up at night, but when a damaged door can’t be locked, it “leads to increasing incidents of illegal activities and nuisances,” a summary of the project said.

Support watchdog journalism

Who has eyes on City Hall? We do. The Long Beach Post is now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donate now to support independent accountability journalism that cuts through the political spin.

The new doors are set to be installed at all 54 of the city’s freestanding park restrooms.

It’s not clear how quickly the project will be completed, but “a few” doors have already been installed and they appear to be working, according to Grobaty. She said there’s been no more vandalism at those locations.

Eventually, the contractor installing the new doors will also add a magnetic locking mechanism that will allow parks employees to set timers unlocking them each morning, Grobaty said.

This is not the first time Long Beach has tried to deter people from breaking into or living in its public restrooms.

Earlier this year, the city began installing fortified doors at its beach bathrooms, where people would frequently kick in the doors and then barricade themselves inside, according to city staff.

That effort, along with playing classical music at the beach restrooms to encourage people to move along, has been successful so far, marine bureau manager Todd Leland previously told the Long Beach Post.

The 128 doors needed to secure all the city’s park restrooms are expected to cost up to $950,000, according to a City Council item authorizing the purchase last month.

Jeremiah Dobruck is managing editor of the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @jeremiahdobruck on Twitter.