AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is continuing work toward moving the Dougherty Arts Center from its current location along Barton Springs Road to Butler Shores.
The Dougherty Arts Center building has been in the same place since 1947 and was originally built as a Naval and Marine Reserve Center. The DAC was dedicated to the city and named for the late arts advocate Mary Ireland Graves in 1978. Since then, it has been serving the community as an arts center, but the building is beyond repair and needs major upgrades.
In 2019, city council approved relocating the building, which sits in a flood plane and needs a number of upgrades.
The plan for the new 50,000-square-foot facility includes multiple studios, two theaters, a roof deck for great views and, if approved, an underground parking facility with about 140 parking spaces.
Right now the plans are in the design phase. Kevin Johnson with City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department said there are still many moving parts.
“Austin likes to pride itself on being a creative economy and a city that bolsters the arts, so this is a chance to put our money where our mouth has been,” said Johnson.
In a conditions assessment completed in 2010, the DAC was said to be beyond repair. The building was established as a temporary structure meant to be demolished in the 1970s.
The projected $28 million Dougherty Arts Center relocation project is getting funded through a 2018 bond but could end up costing more with some added features that are still under discussion.
The current DAC will most likely be demolished after the new facility is built.