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Barton Springs Bathhouse to be renovated

The building itself will stay put, and a recent $2.1 million gift from the Moody Foundation helped the project reach its funding goal.

AUSTIN, Texas — On a scorching hot day in Austin, visitors of the Barton Springs Pool are welcomed by the Barton Springs Bathhouse. Soon, its going to get quite the makeover. 

A $2.1 million gift from The Moody Foundation announced last week at the "A Toast to the Springs" event helped the rehabilitation project move forward by now meeting its funding goal.

Some Austinites think it is much needed, as the building has been around since the 1940s.

Credit: Barton Springs Conservancy
A picture of the Barton Springs Bathhouse in the 1940s.

Some of the renovations include rehabilitated and modernized dressing areas. It'll also have improved bathrooms and a re-imagined educational space. 

The building itself won't go away, as the conservancy says a majority of the restorations will happen inside.

The main entrance will also be moved front and center under the rotunda that shines in the middle of the building. Right now, pool-goers enter at the side of the building. 

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“People will all be moving through the rotunda and will be able to experience the bathhouse in a different way than you do now just by going through the side entrance," said Emma Lindrose-Siegel, the executive director at Barton Springs Conservancy.

The Barton Springs Conservancy says this project was a long time coming.

"It'll be a lot more intuitive and it'll be a lot more open," said Lindrose-Siegel. "There's a lot of demand on a small building that was originally intended to just be a changing room."

That demand is seen through its educational use. It's home to classrooms and the Beverley S. Sheffield Education Center.

The bathhouse has seen better days. Over the years it's deteriorated and repairs have been few and far between. 

Credit: Barton Springs Conservancy Instagram Page
Pictures of the current state of the bathrooms and dressing area at the Barton Springs Bathhouse

"I think recreation is a really big thing here, so anything that betters the infrastructure of the Austin Parks and Rec Department is just amazing," said Chandler Frumin, a UT graduate student.

"I think this is really a treasure of Austin," said Desi Burke, an Austin resident. 

While the timeline is not quite set just yet, the conservancy hopes the project can get moving in late spring of 2020. 

"It's gonna be a huge improvement for Barton Springs and the people who love and use it," said Linrose-Siegel.


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