West Lake Hills City Council holds second public hearing on new municipal facility project

West Lake Hills City Council holds second public hearing on the May 2020 bond projects.

West Lake Hills City Council holds second public hearing on the May 2020 bond projects.

Architecture firm Brinkley Sargent Wiginton unveiled the site concept plans for West Lake Hill’s potential new city hall and police building during a Aug. 15 special meeting.

Funding for the $10 million project would come from the possible May 2020 bond election. Also included in the bond package are various road and drainage repairs throughout the city.

The current municipal buildings have experienced a variety of issues, such as flooding, a lack of storage, building code violations, accessibility issues and safety issues. Neither building is equipped with a proper sprinkler or security system.

“These two buildings don’t do justice to keeping our residents safe,” said Mayor Anthony.

City Council conducted a full assessment of the facilities in 2016 and Anthony called the results "very bleak." The police department, the oldest building was in the worst shape in terms of structural integrity and building codes.

Brinkley Sargent Wiginton was hired last fall to design the concept site plans for a new building that would house both city hall and the police department.

According to Anthony, Council explored the option of conducting renovations on the current building, but due to budget and code issues, ultimately decided to start from scratch.

“Trying to remodel the current building would have been like painting a pig with lipstick,” Anthony said.

The new facility is scheduled to be constructed on the current property at 911 Westlake Drive, West Lake Hills.

Previously, Council also considered constructing the facilities at a new location, possibly the site of St. John Newman’s Church on 5455 Bee Caves Road. According to Anthony, that option was met with resistance from the community.

Several site options were explored, a majority of which would not suit the needs of the city. According to Anthony, the largest issue was a lack of interested property owners willing to sell.

“Long story short, this site is really the best option we have, and it doesn’t require adding $4 or $6 million for land costs—which is conservative,” said Anthony.

Concept site plans

Brinkley Sargent Wiginton presented concept plans for the new city hall and police building.

The new building would be a square-footage increase from the previous facility. The police and city hall buildings combined equal around 8,328 square feet. The new facility would consume around 13,989 square feet, a 5661 square foot increase.

According to Denny Boles, Senior Principal at Brinkley Sargent Wiginton, this is due to the spatial needs of meeting accessibility and building codes.

Along with designs for meeting energy and building codes, the new site plans feature an outdoor patio area for both city staff and residents. The building materials used will be mostly stone and steel, as opposed to wood, which is costly to maintain according to Brinkley Sargent Wiginton.

Brinkley Sargent Wiginton designed the concept plans according to the budget with average-grade commercial materials that are made to last.

In order to reduce any skepticism within the community, council member Brian Plunkett described the materials as being cost-effective and durable as opposed to lavish.

“We’re taking indoor space and making it feel bigger,” said Denny Boles.

Council member Beth South described the building design as community friendly, adding that the city hall facility could potentially be used for other community members outside of the city staff.

Mayor Anthony suggested that a new municipal facility could help the city attract and maintain talented staff.

“Our staff does not live in West Lake Hills—they can’t afford it—so they’re driving an hour to work, and obtaining quality staff isn’t easy these days,” said Anthony, adding that providing a pleasant place for both the staff and the community is important.
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

Bee Cave Sonesta Austin Hotel owner Adrian Overstreet, pictured at a 2019 Bee Cave City Council meeting, helped author a plan to help local small business owners navigate federal assistance amid the COVID-19 crisis. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Officials endorse Bee Cave Chamber plan for small business assistance

Bee Cave City Council formally adopted a plan from the Bee Cave City Council regarding the utilization of city library staff to help small business owners.

(Graphic illustration courtesy Jay Jones/Community Impact Newspaper)
‘We’ve got this’: Central Texas librarians step up to help their communities amid coronavirus pandemic

The example in Bee Cave appears to be just one of many stories relating how, amid the COVID-19 crisis, librarians are helping their communities throughout the Greater Austin area.

The Eanes ISD board of trustees met virtually March 31 to take action on a number of agenda items, including bond projects and the May 2 election. (Courtesy Eanes ISD)
Bond projects, COVID-19, trustee election and more discussed during Eanes ISD March 31 board meeting

All EISD campuses are closed in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, however trustees and staff are routinely working to continue to serve its students, who began remote March 26.

CraigO's Pizza & Pastaria owner Andrew Rincon (left), volunteer Mark Crowell (right) and a team of several other people helped feed dozens of at-risk families in the Lake Travis community April 2. (Courtesy Mason Culp)
'We're not worried about making a ton of money right now': Local business, nonprofit team up to feed Lake Travis families

A Lake Travis-area business owner along with about 10 volunteers spent two hours on the afternoon of April 2 delivering food to dozens of at-risk families within the community.

Economic relief options for small business owners include the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Has your Austin-area small business been affected by the coronavirus? Here are resources you can access.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering a short-term loan program intended to help cover payroll and a separate, long-term loan program intended to help business owners stay afloat.

A recent string of incidents where Zoom meetings have been “hacked” has put the future viability of teleconferencing security in doubt. (Courtesy Pixabay)
String of racist attacks via videoconferencing software leads to heightened security concerns

A recent string of incidents where Zoom meetings have been “hacked” has put the future viability of teleconferencing security in doubt.

St. David's HealthCare has temporarily consolidated services provided by St. David's Surgical Hospital, St. David's Emergency Center—Bee Cave and St. David's Emergency Center—Cedar Park. (Evan Marczynski/Community Impact Newspaper)
St. David’s temporarily closes three Austin locations, redeploys resources during COVID-19 pandemic

St. David’s Emergency Center locations in Bee Cave and Cedar Park temporarily closed April 1.

Molly May, the department’s executive director, spoke during the March 31 virtual board meeting, confirming that the special education department has developed its own remote teaching and learning plan. (Courtesy Eanes ISD)
Despite district closures remote services continue for students with disabilities at Eanes ISD

May stated that EISD has implemented telehealth practices and is continuing to offer physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, counseling and adapted physical education, all using a remote platform.

Austin and Travis County's orders went into place March 25 and require residents to stay home for everything but essential travel. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
5 recent coronavirus stories from the Austin area readers should know

Read local updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

Austin FC and Upper Ninety on March 30 released a guide of resources for local families. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin FC, Upper Ninety compile bilingual resource guide for Austin families

Austin FC and Upper Ninety on March 30 released a guide of resources for local families.

Friday's digital telethon will help Austin metro residents through nonprofits during the coronavirus pandemic.
Donations to All Together ATX will help local residents through grants to nonprofits

Friday's digital telethon seeks donations to help the community