Big Year Ahead: Our ambitious schedule for the short-term projects by Robin Cravey, FBSP President
We have a big year ahead of us at Barton Springs Pool. I’ve been working with the Board and the Coordinating Committee on a plan to get all the short-term projects finally completed or at least under contract by the end of the year. I think we can accomplish it.
The next big project to enter the public process chute will be the general grounds improvements. That will kick off this month or next, and we hope to see it under way by the end of the year. It includes utility upgrades, installation of an accessible trail on the south side, and new lighting. Related to that is moving the main entrance back to the central rotunda.
Last year, progress on the projects bogged down in a repetitive public input process. But in the fall, Project Manager Tony Arnold outlined the city’s contracting process, and then Tom Nelson, Aquatics Manager, outlined an orderly public input process. Board members Gary Beyer, Tom Weber, and I discussed the process and ways it could be improved. Tom drafted comments, and I drew up a spreadsheet mapping out how to move each of the projects through the process. We’re now discussing the process with city staffers, and I hope to have a schedule soon. Continue reading “January President’s Report”
How long have you been in Austin?
Since I was a wee little tadpole and most of the city pools still had diving boards. Some even had high dives.
Why did you join the Friends of Barton Springs Pool?
To clean up the pool!
What do you do during the day?
I try to stay as busy as possible. Idle hands are the devil’s playground, which is how I ended up helping to clean the pool on a nice sunny Thursday afternoon with nothing to do.
What does Barton Springs Pool mean to you?
I have been working on a theory for about twenty years that I tell people who ask me about Austin when I am not in Austin: The universe is an odd elliptical shape and one of its foci is located within a twenty or thirty foot radius of the diving board at Barton Springs. That’s pretty precise if you consider how big the universe is.
With spring fed waters, a natural rock bottom, and rolling green hills, Barton Springs Pool has for decades been a source of pride and joy for the Austin community. Due to its consistent temperature and the warm climate of the Austin area, swimmers frequent the 900 foot long pool year-round. In addition, our beloved Barton Springs is home to a species of salamander which can be found nowhere else on Earth, the aptly named Barton Springs Salamander.
However, late last year, increased flooding led to debris piling up at the deep end of the pool. As a result of that and the buildup that has accumulated over the years, the city of Austin had a public meeting on the 14th regarding the “Gravel Bar” that developed. According to Friends of Barton Spring Pool (FBSP) the Gravel Bar increases stagnation, traps silt, and makes the pool water murky. Continue reading “Gravel Bar-B-Gone”
We are going to be hosting a public meeting on behalf of the Aquatic Advisory Board in order for them to announce their proposed changes to the BSP charging hours. The first meeting will be on Tuesday January 26th at 6:00 p.m. at the Aquatics Office (400 Deep Eddy Ave.)
Wayne Simmons, MS, CPRP
Aquatic Program Coordinator
City of Austin
Office: (512) 974-9326
Fax: (512) 974-9344
As she made the motion to remove the gravel bar in Barton Springs Pool, Council Member Sheryl Cole joked that she did so on behalf of all parents in Austin.
Cole was alluding to how popular the pool was with her own children each summer, but given the intensity of the questioning from various Council members on the dais, practically everyone had an interest in the gravel bar removal, which will require a month-long closure of the pool and remove about 200 10-cubic-yard dump trucks of gravel.
Last night, after a public hearing, Council approved a site-specific amendment to the Save Our Springs Ordinance to allow for the excavation. The only testimony from the public last night was from the Friends of Barton Springs Pool, indicating a general acceptance of what must be done to an ecological site so precious that most people would prefer to see it untouched and, certainly, never closed. Continue reading “Gravel bar removal at Barton Spring pool gets go-ahead”