Converting former library into Buda Visitors Center could cost more than $600K

Proposed plans for the Buda Visitors Center. (Courtesy City of Buda)
Proposed plans for the Buda Visitors Center. (Courtesy City of Buda)

Proposed plans for the Buda Visitors Center. (Courtesy City of Buda)

Conversion of the former Buda library into a visitors center came with a bit of sticker shock to council members June 2.

Last year the council set aside $70,000 for design and $400,000 for construction of the center, which would be paid for entirely by hotel occupancy tax funds.

Jackson Galloway Architects facility manager Ray Creswell told council members June 2 the project will likely cost $638,173 as the plans stand, but with add-ons could be as much as $841,450.

Several council members said they were surprised by the estimate, which at the base, includes a reception area, closed offices, staff work rooms, meeting space, a prep kitchen and an area for retail and merchandising.

Suggested options include rain gutters, replacing 20-year-old HVAC systems, installing a fire sprinkler system and furniture.


The visitors center falls under the provisions for what hotel occupancy tax funds can be utilized. At the end of fiscal year 2019, Buda had $1.23 million in HOT funds available. At the current estimates, the project could leave the fund balance at $414,000-$489,000. No money from the general fund would be used for the project.

With that comes the uncertainty of HOT funds through coronavirus. Mayor George Haehn and council members talked about the effect low hotel occupancy could slow growth of the fund for future projects.

The project, if approved, would go to bid in September according to the timeline. Creswell said the bidding process could bring down the price.

The council will discuss the project’s future at the June 16 city council meeting.
By Joe Warner
Joe Warner is managing editor of the nine Austin-Central Texas editions of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.


MOST RECENT

building on street corner
San Marcos moves forward with COVID-19 Testing Program in partnership with Hays County

San Marcos City Council learned details about a partnership between the city and Hays County at a July 7 meeting that could advance coronavirus testing efforts.

The Texas Education Agency released guidelines about on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency issues guidelines for 2020-21 school year

The guidelines address on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions that should be enforced at Texas schools this year.

Here is the data on the COVID-19 cases Hays County reported July 7. (Community Impact staff)
Hays County reports 50 new coronavirus cases July 7

Numbers provided by the Hays County Local Health Department showed 50 new coronavirus cases and one new hospitalization July 7.

Edward Logan is the new CEO of Sport Clips Inc. (Courtesy Sport Clips Inc.)
New Sport Clips Haircuts CEO to succeed founder

In his early work with Sport Clips, Edward oversaw the company-owned stores, taking many of them to top performers within the system.

In-person appointments for driver license renewal and replacement are now being offered at driver license offices across the state. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas driver license offices reopen for in-person renewal, replacement services

The second phase of reopening announced July 7 expanded services offered at driver license offices.

New guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
New U.S. guidelines require exchange students to take in-person classes this fall

The guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas.

The Hays CISD board of trustees could vote to change the Rebel mascot at Hays High School as early as late July. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
School officials to recommend change of Rebel mascot at Hays High School

The Hays CISD administration announced July 6 that it will recommend HCISD board members vote in favor of changing the Rebel mascot at Hays High School following survey results from students and teachers.

The Texas Education Agency and Renaissance have partnered to give students unlimited access to enhanced digital books in English and Spanish. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas students given access to thousands of books, news articles for summer reading through TEA partnership

The Texas Education Agency and Renaissance have partnered to give students unlimited access to enhanced digital books in English and Spanish.

The State Fair of Texas is expected to return in 2021. (Courtesy Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas)
State Fair of Texas cancels 2020 season

This is the eighth time in the fair’s 134-year history that the event has been called off.

Interim President Jay Hartzell said in a letter to the UT campus July 7 that a staff member has died from COVID-19. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
University of Texas custodial services staff member dies from COVID-19

This is the university's first death related to COVID-19, according to a message from interim President Jay Hartzell.

Neil Vickers, ACC executive vice president
Austin Community College approves $416.11 million budget for FY 2020-21, defers salary increases

The budget does not include staff raises, but raises will be re-evaluated in the fall.