Join us on Sat, Jun 11th at 5-8pm for our Annual Shipe Pool Party! After the sun goes down, we will show a family-friendly movie in the field so bring your blankets and lawn chairs. We will be celebrating summertime and the reopening of our beloved neighborhood pool! Free for one and all!
Special thanks to our event sponsors:
Astound Broadband (formerly Grande Communications) for hosting our movie and toy raffle!!
It’s been three years since Shipe Park has seen its regular slate of events. We have missed the pool-opening party and movies at the park, but most of all, we have missed seeing our neighbors. While we are still under the shadow of COVID, the Friends of Shipe Park thinks it’s important to greet one another after a long hiatus and show some love to the park. It has served as a safe place and refuge to many of us during the pandemic, and we celebrate the hope that we can spend more time together there and at other HPNA gatherings.
It’s My Park Day (IMPD) is a citywide event organized by the Austin Parks Foundation to galvanize volunteers to improve our neighborhood parks. Friends of Shipe Park sponsors the IMPD activities at the park, and we always have a robust turnout for the work done there. IMPD is a wonderful community event that will help the park while you get to know your neighbors. Nothing like digging in the dirt, weeding and aerating around your favorite old tree next to a whole bunch of friendly folks with common interests. Come join us!
As in years past, we’ll have similar grounds keeping goals:
Cleanup of the landscape and beds around the pool
We ask volunteers to bring garden tools if they have them (and make sure to label them with your name, so they make it home with you at the end!). The kind of things we can always use:
Wheelbarrow (we always need more of these then we have)
Wheelbarrow (yes, I listed it twice — we really do need them!)
It’s going to be a fun few hours of hard work and good times together! There will be snacks provided by Quack’s, along with music provided by the Griffin School House Band. Please wear work clothes and long sleeves.
Special thanks to all of the city-wide event sponsors, and the wonderful folks who are providing special support to our event this year:
On a hot, sunny afternoon, Shipe Pool is full of kids, families, and neighbors with smiling faces, enjoying the chance to splash around in the cool waters of our beloved neighborhood pool! After three years when our neighborhood pool was closed with damage and under construction (and then a limited opening last year under Covid restrictions), neighbors are delighted that Shipe Pool is open again this summer season!
Next to the appreciation for the pool, many swimmers are disappointed in the limited schedule for public swim days and times. The pool is open to the public on three weekdays (Mon, Tue, and Thu) 9am-4pm which conflicts with the work schedule of many people in 9-5 type jobs. On those days Shipe is open in the late afternoons/evenings only for swim lessons and swim team practices. It’s also open to the general public on Saturdays noon-7pm, but some neighbors feel that the current schedule has a bias against adults who work traditional hours.
Although we don’t have all the answers to these concerns, we do have some context for the situation with pools this summer. Most Austin neighborhood pools are still not open due to a severe shortage of lifeguards and because of widespread damage to pipes and pumps in the aquatics systems that happened in February’s severe winter storm. The Aquatics Department designed a gradual re-opening of pools, starting first with the year-round pools like Big Stacy, Bartholomew, and Deep Eddy since that is where most of the lifeguard training takes place. The next priority was Shipe and Govalle pools because we were without a pool for three years.
In the choices made around pool reopening, Austin Aquatics leadership focused on equity between neighborhoods across the city. As much as possible, the city has made sure that each region of the city has equal access to neighborhood swimming pools. In a city where the history of our common resources has benefited the affluent, largely white neighborhoods, centering equity in decisions about the allocation of aquatics resources is an important goal. There remain areas of town that have no access to public swimming pools.
As more lifeguards are brought online, more pools will be opened across the community. Austin Aquatics leadership has shared that once other pools are open, it is possible that the schedule at Shipe Pool could be increased to include more days and/or hours. In addition, Aquatics may consider moving swim lessons and team practices to other pools so the public swim hours at Shipe can be expanded to include after-work hours.
We will hope for more pool access for all people across the city as the summer unfolds. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the beautiful pool we have at Shipe Park for as much time as it is available. For folks eager for a dip when Shipe Pool is not available, you can look into other public pools on the city’s website here: www.austintexas.gov/page/pools-splash-pads
Shipe Pool will open for its Summer 2021 season on Saturday, June 5, 2021! Shipe Pool will be open to the public on Saturdays from noon-7pm and Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays 9am-4pm. Shipe will also host swim lessons and swim team practices on various afternoons during the week – the pool is closed to the public during these times. See the Shipe Pool Summer 2021 schedule here.
The old Shipe Pool filled and ready for the 2016 summer season.
City of Austin Parks and Recreation reported that further construction delays will result in the loss of the 2019 pool season at Shipe Pool. Interum PARD Director Liana Kallivoka shared the following Shipe Pool construction update with City Council on Aug 12, 2019:
Shipe Pool is tentatively scheduled for completion in September 2019, and at this time, the pool is not expected to open this season. The Aquatic team will consider opening the pool earlier for the 2020 swim season, contingent upon having adequate lifeguard staff available.
Friends of Shipe Park will continue to advocate for a successful completion of the pool construction project and the other related construction efforts: the log cabin renovations, swing relocation, improvements in the area where the kiddie pool used to be, and a a restoration of the field and landscape all around the park. We’re all eager to see these projects done so we can benefit from the new infrastructure at Shipe and get this beloved space back.
Losing access to our neighborhood pool and park for this construction period has heightened our awareness of the great value of parks to our sense of community. We are looking forward to the gatherings of friends and neighbors we will have at Shipe Park again soon. From casual play dates with our young children to grand community parties – Shipe Park is where we feel like a genuine neighborhood.
We will share more soon as plans unfold for a Halloween movie night in the field, It’s My Park Day in the springtime, and the next Shipe Pool Party in 2020!
First the bad news: on June 13th representatives of the City informed the Friends of Shipe Park that Shipe Pool’s projected opening date has been delay once again. The opening date is now projected to be mid-August (a month later than the last projection.) The reasons given for this latest delay are 1) the late delivery of the glazed tile to be used in the interior of the bathhouse, 2) the plaster for the pool’s surface is a new longer-lasting material, but it will take longer to cure (dry); and 3) contractor delays (some weather related and some that, after a good start, the contractor’s work has slowed down considerably.) The substantial completion date is now July 30th . “Substantial completion” must be reached before the work can pass inspection and allow the City of Austin Aquatic Division to prepare for the use of the new pool facility including on-site life guard training, other safety procedures, and fine tuning of the facilities.
Now the good news: assuming no further delays, the Shipe Pool swim season will be extended, running from mid-August through September 28th. Weekday hours are currently scheduled for 4-8 p.m. and weekends from noon to 7:00 p.m. [Note: thanks to Council Member Kathie Tovo for working with PARD to arrange these extended swim days.]
In his May 14th update, City of Austin Shipe Pool Project Manager Reynaldo Hernandez shared a revised timeline for the completion of the new pool and pool facilities at Shipe Park. Because of recent rains and the late delivery of some construction materials, his current estimate is that Shipe Pool will be complete and open sometime in mid-July this year.
“The recent rains coupled with the delay in receipt of the glazed tile to be used in the interior of the bathhouse has caused a delay on the substantial completion date for the facility. G. Hyatt [the pool contractor] has communicated to the City of Austin that substantial completion will occur in late June. Substantial completion will allow the Aquatic Division to prepare the use of the new pool facility which includes life guard training and other safety procedures and allow for required inspections. The delay in substantial completion will delay the opening of the pool to the public to mid-July 2019.”
Unfortunate but not altogether unexpected delays like this are bad news for neighbors eager for the pool to be open to the public during the summer season. Given the complexity of the construction efforts and factors, like inclement weather, that are impossible to control, the city Parks and Recreation staff will share further updates as needed. We are aware that all hoping that the construction and inspection process goes forward without further delays and that the neighborhood will get to enjoy the new pool this summer!
Completed building forms with insulation attached, prepared for limestone finish. Pool coping completed along with tile at pool water line.
The full text from the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department Shipe Neighborhood Pool Project Update report follows:
May 14, 2019 Project Status:
Late April and early May, brought forth the bathhouse structures and the prepping for the horizontal flat work to the site. All of the pool coping and water line tile was installed and plumbing and electrical work continues to be installed in the facility structures.
The pool work is being done by G. Hyatt sub-consultant Modern Pools. G. Hyatt is represented by Justin Hyatt and Kevin Cole the site superintendent. The City of Austin (COA) is represented by Sergio Altamirano who is the Public Works Project Manager and Reynaldo Hernandez, the Parks and Recreation Project Management Supervisor. Jodi Jay will represent the Aquatic Division along with Aquatic Supervisor Aaron Levin for the Parks and Recreation Department. The existing art mural continues to be monitored by representative Frank Wick from Art in Public Places (AIPP).
Mid-May to early June 2019, limestone block installation to face of buildings will continue until completion. The forming and pouring of the concrete retaining walls and seat walls will begin including the installation of the shade structure foundations. The recent rains coupled with the delay in receipt of the glazed tile to be used in the interior of the bathhouse has caused a delay on the substantial completion date for the facility. G. Hyatt has communicated to the City of Austin that substantial completion will occur in late June. Substantial completion will allow the Aquatic Division to prepare the use of the new pool facility which includes life guard training and other safety procedures and allow for required inspections. The delay in substantial completion will delay the opening of the pool to the public to mid-July 2019.
Potential Construction Effects on Community:
There are two active construction entrances for the facility, one is along Ave. F and along E. 44th. Street. Construction access will occur intermittently throughout the construction of the facility, including on most Saturday’s. The contractor has been instructed to have all construction employees park on Ave. G between 45th and 44th Streets. Construction start time will typically begin at 7am and last to 6pm. The majority of the existing play ground will be accessible to the public during the construction of the pool facility for the month of January. Please be aware that there will be excessive noise and dust while the facility is under construction and this may effect public use and enjoyment of the park site
If you should have further questions or comments please contact Reynaldo Hernandez at Reynaldo.firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 512-974-9464.
After a few starts and stops due to weather and accessibility, the pool construction and renovation of the beloved Shipe Log Cabin is well underway! Phase 1 which included removal of the chinking and installation of new decking, zinc flashing and traditional shake shingles is nearing completion. Phase 2 will include new chinking, perimeter drainage work, new lighting, cleaning of the logs and application of a natural sealant to protect the wood from future deterioration. The materials for the reconstruction of the cabin will be in keeping with the original structure as much as possible. Material selections were vetted and selected by a team from the city spearheaded by Kim McNight, the Historic Preservation and Conservation Program Manager for PARD. As with all new construction, even those using “period” techniques and materials, it will take some time for the new wood and metal to acquire that “aged” look but we are confident it will patina nicely.
Many thanks to James Nolan Construction and PARD Project Managers George Maldonado and Mike Jones for keeping the project rolling. A tip of the hat to the pool builders G Hyatt Construction Company for working with Friends of Shipe Park during their “big dig.” Most of all, Friends of Shipe Park wants to express our deep gratitude to the generous community members like you who have contributed so much towards restoring the Log Cabin to it’s rightful role as the “gathering place of Hyde Park.” This and other park improvements couldn’t happen without YOU!
HERE’S THE LATEST NEWS ABOUT THE PARK CONSTRUCTION!
Work on Shipe Park improvement projects officially began on October 8th when the City of Austin approved the Notice to Proceed the swimming pool contractor.
Projects already done or currently under way include:
Construction fencing was erected around much of the park south of Waller Creek. The reason for this is that the construction contractor needs much of this area for staging materials, equipment, and a temporary trailer. Park amenities still accessible include the kids’ playscape, the basketball court, and the tennis courts.
The City Arts in Public Places program carefully wrapped the Shipe Pool mural with a protective (mastic) covering. The mural will be preserved to become part of the new pool.
PARD has provided Porta-potties near 44thand Avenue F for park users for the period of time when the bathrooms in the Log Cabin are inaccessible.
James Nolan Construction has begun renovation of the Log Cabin, replacing the roof, replacing chinking and making other upgrades. This work is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
The City of Austin Forestry department has completed much-needed work on the heritage oak next to the Log Cabin. This involved air spading the soil around the trunk to aerate the soil and lower the soil to the proper level for the tree’s root zone. Forestry also trimmed the trees by the Avenue F “construction entrance” to allow placement of the construction trailer on the gravel adjacent to the large swing set. In addition, it carefully lifted the low live oak branches that were touching the bottom of the wading pool. This will enable the contractor to proceed with demolition of the wading pool.
The City has begun work on a planned new sidewalk on the east side of Avenue G connecting 45thStreet to the entrance of the new pool.
Hyatt Construction has begun work on the new pool. The City of Austin’s projected completion date is June 15, 2019.
Neighbors Contribute to Shipe Park Projects
Through mid-October 45 individuals, 2 foundations, 2 restaurants, HPNA, and the Hyde Park Baptist Church had contributed over $35,000 to match a $50,000 grant from the Austin Parks Foundation. This will fund the renovation of the Log Cabin and new amenities in the old wading pool area. To contribute to this community effort to invest in our park, go to: https://austinparks.org/support-shipe-park/