The Barton Springs Bathhouse Rehabilitation is a major task identified in the Barton Springs Master Plan (completed in 2009) and further outlined in the Zilker Bathhouse Zone Feasibility Study (and completed in 2016). Major elements of work will include access improvements, replacement of the plumbing systems, structural repairs and restoration of critical parts of the entry rotunda and the changing rooms. Improvements to the Aquatic facilities and the Sheffield Education Center are also a part of this project.

Barton Springs Bathhouse Rehabilitation

Project Background

The Barton Springs Bathhouse was constructed in 1947 after the previous structure was destroyed by flood. Its original service design included a mechanized basket system that was removed circa 1968 after another flood damaged the system. About this time the primary entrance was moved to the southeast corner of the building where it remains today. Several other minor additions have been made to enhance accessibility and service to the pool. In 1998 the Sheffield Educational Center and the SPLASH! aquifer exhibit were added within the original basket area. The area is covered under Federal, State and City historic designations of which the Bathhouse is a primary architectural feature. After 70 years of service many of the internal features of the facility have deteriorated and are in need of major repairs.

Funding and Resources

The funding for the Rehabilitation of the Barton Springs Bathhouse is made possible through Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funding to support projects and initiatives that meet allowable uses as defined under Chapter 351 of the Texas Tax Code. HOT revenue is an essential tool for the promotion of tourism and supports the growth of the tourism, convention and hotel industry. PARD is an important partner in this effort as public parks, museums and cultural centers are among the top tourist attractions in the City.

Project Goals and Timeline

The goal of this effort is to rehabilitate the existing Bathhouse to provide a first class facility for Barton Springs visitors for the next 70 years while maintaining the historic integrity of the facility and meeting program needs. The Austin Parks and Recreation Department with the assistance of the Public Works Department has engaged a professional design consultant team led by Limbacher-Godfrey Architects to complete design and construction bid documents. 

Design began in March 2018 with detailed investigations and will continue through to completion in summer 2019. View the anticipated schedule here (PDF).

2018: Site/Program/Regulatory: Community Meeting #1, community survey, focus groups, community meeting #2 values, Community meeting #3 Concept design workshop; Schematic design (2019) Community survey, Design Development, Community Meeting #4 Design Update; (2020) Construction documents, bidding; 2021: Award, construction administration

The interpretive planning and revitalization of the Beverly S. Sheffield Education Center will occur within this timeline.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement Summary (PDF)

The community engagement phase of the Bathhouse design effort has concluded. The process included opportunities for community members to provide input and comment on design schematics and progress  through stakeholder meetings, multiple open houses, and on-line updates all with opportunities for comments. See the schedule of meetings previously held below and the summary above. The interpretive planning phase in the Beverly S. Sheffield Education Center is seeking community input through January 15.

Design Kick-off meeting
April 3, 2018
5:30 - 7:00 PM
Austin Energy, Conference Rm 130
721 Barton Springs Rd., Austin

Community Survey

A community survey was conducted online and at Barton Springs. Over 1,000 participants contributed their ideas.

Project Values and Program Workshop
Tuesday August 14, 2018
6:00 - 7:30 PM
Zilker Botanical Gardens
2220 Barton Springs Rd. Austin

View Values Workshop Presentation (16.2 MB)
View Meeting Comments
Barton Springs Bathhouse Values

Meeting #3 and Open House
Stakeholder Meeting
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Austin Energy Town Lake Center
721 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, TX 78704
5:30 - 7:00 PM

View Meeting #3 Presentation

Open House
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Barton Springs Treecourt
2201 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, TX 78704
3:00 - 6:30 PM

Preliminary Concepts and Values Survey
Below are the preliminary concepts/schemes that were presented.

Final Schematic Design Survey results

Community Meeting #4: Updating the Process
October 30, 2019
5:30 - 7:00 PM
Zilker Botanical Garden Auditorium
2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, TX 78746

View presentation from Meeting #4 (PDF)

Contact Information

If you have questions or would like to comments, please email Ellen Colfax with the Public Works Department.