To update: This story has been updated with the confirmed list of opening pools and additional information about Barton Springs and Deep Eddy.
The city of Austin announced the reopening schedule for some of their greatest amenities as early as next week – including pools, libraries, and pet services.
During a virtual press conference on May 29, led by City Manager Spencer Crock, attended by executives from Austin Parks and Recreation and the Austin Public Libraries, the city set a timetable for some key attractions.
Austin City Workers
The city of Austin will begin welcoming employees starting June 1, although most non-essential workers may continue to work from home. According to the deputy city administrator Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde, the health risk will be reassessed every 28 days for the foreseeable future and adjusted accordingly.
Regarding the future of teleworking for city workers, the deputy city manager said she anticipates these numbers will continue to grow and called this a “revelation” on how productivity has been increased under the Stay Home / Work Smart mandate.
Austin public swimming pools
Nine pools in the Austin area will reopen this month, though Deep Eddy and Barton Springs are not included. Cronk’s May 29 memo to Mayor Steve Adler and Austin City Council stated that the two pools will have a limited schedule when they reopen. Barton Springs is closed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and Deep Eddy is closed on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
“I am very aware of how valuable the parks and recreation division is to many community members,” said Kimberly McNeely, director of Austin Parks and Recreation, “and how important it is to physical and mental health and mental health.”
Once open, pool goers must abide by the social distancing rules that are enforced. The following pools will reopen on a limited schedule in the coming weeks:
- Govalle – June 1st (no lap tracks; closed Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday)
- Rosewood – June 1st (circular track; closed on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday)
- shipping – June 1st (no lap tracks; closed Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday)
- Big Stacy – June 2nd (lap swimming only on weekdays, recreational swimming only on weekends; closed Monday, Friday, Saturday)
- Mabel Davis– June 5th (two long distance laps; closed Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)
- northwest – June 5th (six rounds; closed Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday)
- Walnut Creek – June 5th (three rounds; closed Monday, Wednesday, Saturday)
- Bartholomew – June 6th (no slide, only lap tracks; closed Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
- garrison – June 6th (two long-distance laps; closed Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
PARD swimming teams will be canceled this summer and the splash pads will also remain closed. McNeely noted that splash pads are not considered pools, but are grouped under the same category as playgrounds, water parks, and other “multiple touch” locations.
“We are in a position to make additional amenities available to the public,” she said, noting that municipal tennis courts, basketball courts and parts of the Zilker Botanical Garden could also be opened soon.
Austin Public Libraries
Austin Public Libraries will be opening their book and media drops on June 1st, and Libraries Director Roosevelt Weeks encouraged Austinites to return the more than 200,000 items currently outstanding. Once returned, the items are quarantined for 72 hours before being loaned again.
Weeks also announced that the roadside loan service will begin June 8th at the following 10 branches:
Austin Central Library
Austin Animal Center
The Austin Animal Center has taken in more than 900 animals in the past 10 weeks, according to Don Bland, Chief Animal Services Officer. Of these, 763 were taken in foster families and more than 400 were adopted.
Starting June 1, AAC will welcome two prospective adopters per hour (and only two family members per group). New pet owners must fill out a form on the website and are given a time to get to the East Austin facility. There, everyone will have their temperature checked and must wear a mask in the building and follow social distancing guidelines.
Interim Assistant Director Daniel Word noted that the Cashier’s Office will be the first Austin Code Office facility to open. It will be operational on June 1st and open every day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The license and registration office will open on June 15th for things like short term rental, billboard, private garbage haulage company, etc.