President’s Report

Restoring the rotunda entrance, preserving the tree court

by Robin Cravey

Sketch of restored rotunda entrance

From the first days that we  began advocating for repairs and improvements at the pool, one restoration has stood out. Moving the main entrance back to the central rotunda fires the imagination. Now, as we work on the general grounds improvements, is the time to make that move. And it won’t cost much.

Soon members of FBSP and BSPCC will begin a capital campaign to raise money to move the entrance.  It could cost $100,000. We’re going to need help. If you want to lend a hand (or contribute!) email me at

The plan to restore the entrance is simple. Cashiers would receive money at the glass windows in front. Swimmers would enter through a new door in the front wall to the left of the rotunda, then amble through the middle of the rotunda and out the glass doors at the back.  They would arrive outside between the two dressing rooms.

This plan is a simplification of the master plan design, and it was sketched out by Emily Little. She is an architect, a member of the Austin Heritage Society, and a member of BSPCC.

Sketch of new entry

The benefits of this move are many.  Honoring the original grand design of the bathhouse, reducing long lines at the entrance, and improving the sense of place are all important.  But most important is removing the heavy foot traffic from the tree court. That will allow the tree court to change from a busy throughway to a more peaceful and natural place for enjoying the trees.

We are working with Parks Director Sara Hensley, the staff, council offices, and others to realize this goal. Its exciting.

Quick dips

The grounds improvements include many great projects.  They’re in design now.  Construction will begin later this year.  Total cost is projected at $2 million.  I’ve listed a few projects below.

  • Installing a new pump will allow the staff to use another high-pressure hose while cleaning the pool, giving us a cleaner pool.
  • Building an accessible trail from the south entrance to the pool deck will make it possible for parents with strollers and other mobility-impaired swimmers to use that entrance.
  • Burying the power lines and installing new lighting will add to the beauty of the pool.
  • Expanding the fenced area on the south side will make room for more swimmers and an improved layout.

Flood Debris Removal Project Underway

Pad for crane

The pool is now closed to all swimmers. The staging areas for equipment are established. The pad for the crane is in place. The protective pathway has been built. (See photographs of the construction setup.) The next step was installing the coffer dam, which is now in place. When the crane arrives, the real work begins. Removing accumulated flood debris from the pool is expected to take four weeks. The city is planning to reopen the pool by March 12th.  For background on this project, see last month’s article here.

Protective pathway for crane

Mark Your Calendar for Spring Cleaning, Sat. Feb. 26

It’s been only two weeks, but how we miss the springs, barred as we are like infidels from Mecca while God and government grant only a privileged few access for some arcane (well, perhaps only overdue) purification ritual.  Despair not, for like manna from heaven, we bring to you your first opportunity to rejoin these sacred waters while those with wistful eyes and envious bathing suits pine from beyond the fence, too timid to serve their love for this baptismal bathwater with pushbrooms or paint brushes, or rakes, or clippers, or even your bare naked hands!  Glory be, salvation and a seat poolside at Heaven’s best swimming hole shall be set aside for you for all eternity for answering the call to service, Hallelujah!

Did we mention this will be a Saturday Event?!  Yes!  Saturday, February 26th.  You may perhaps even receive a special dispensation from the Holy Let’s Wait and See to forego church on Sunday if you attend.

2 hour shifts beginning at 10 am and continuing until 6 pm.  Coffee, Snacks, Warm Lunch, and Refreshments provided.

You can now sign up for redemption on

Please indicate what shift you would like to attend so we may fairly divide the divine duties.

With fervent love for the Springs bordering on religious zealotry,

Jonathan Beall
Service Chair, FBSP

2011 Treeathlon Update

Barton Springs Pool Treeathlon Update – Join us on Saturday, April 30, 2011 for the second annual Barton Springs Pool Treeathlon.  Be sure to join us for this very, very short, fun and family-oriented event to raise “fun” and funds for purchasing and maintaining trees at Barton Springs Pool and to support Friends of Barton Springs Pool.  Treeathletes will swim ACROSS Barton Springs Pool, bike a short loop around Zilker Park, and then run a short course around the Polo Fields.  Presented by Friends of Barton Springs Pool in cooperation with Austin Parks Foundation, the Treeathlon is a semi-silly athletic endeavor to raise fun and tax deductible funds for purchasing and maintaining trees for Barton Springs Pool and to bring back some of the “Keep Austin Weird” vibe.

We are working to keep what was fun from last year, including the quick dip in Barton Springs Pool, the dash around Zilker Park, the kegs and Maine Root root beer refreshments, TacoDeli tacos, and the percussive sounds of Rhythmic Force.  However, this year’s event will be especially fun for families with kids so we can introduce folks to the joys of Barton Springs Pool and give a little taste of triathlons.

Please join us in celebrating and supporting Barton Springs Pool with the Treeathlon, and if your business is interested in sponsoring this year’s Treeathlon, please contact Mike Cannatti at

January Treasurer’s Report

Friends of Barton Springs Pool Treasurer’s Report

(January 2011)

FBSP Beginning Balance: $303,613.74
Hamilton and Terrile, LLP $500.00
Membership Donations: $75.00
Sub-total new income: $575.00
Total Income: $304,188.74
Constant Contact (email service): $204.60
Cleaning Supplies $172.31
Total Expenses: ($376.91)
FBSP Balance*: $303,811.83

*$300,000 of the balance is the SEP funds designated for repair of the bypass tunnel.