The Stephenson Building, a high school built in 1939 now used as office space, may be undergoing rehabilitation and an addition.

The building is located at 311 Old Fitzhugh Road, Dripping Springs, and is owned by the city, according to Keenan Smith, tax increment reinvestment zones project manager.

During a meeting March 21, Dripping Springs City Council approved for city staff to negotiate a contract with Architexas, an architecture firm in Austin that specializes in historic preservation, in order to prepare working drawings for the project.

Funds for the work drawings are included in the fiscal year 2023 budget approved in 2022, according to the city.

In order to make changes to the building, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013, city staff will submit a certificate of appropriateness application to the Historic Preservation Commission. An approval indicates that the changes are in line with the historic characteristics of the building.

Smith and Larry Irsik of Architexas presented the new concept plan for the building, updated based on a feasibility study conducted by Architexas in 2020.

“This is an update to our master plan,” Irsik said. “The updates are really for accessibility to the stage dressing room, a catering kitchen, gallery space and the option of an addition.”

Key updates include:
  • Accessible stage and dressing room;
  • Private entry to dressing room;
  • Kitchen with serving window;
  • Flexible gallery; and
  • Addition of Parks and Community Services Department.
The proposed first phase of the project would include restoration of the building and an addition with restrooms. The cost estimate is about $2.6 million according to Irsik.

At $504,682, Phase 2 of the project would provide new office space for the Parks and Community Services Department.

Both phases total about an estimated $3.1 million, according to Irsik.

“It’s seen a variety of public uses throughout its life,” Smith said of the Stephenson Building. “We’re now working on bringing it back to the city with options to be part of Dripping Springs.”

For more information on the project, visit