Wimberley takes major step toward building a Hospitality Center in the square

Pocket park, visitor kiosk and public restrooms coming soon

Staff Reports
WIMBERLEY — Wimberley city leaders moved from the drawing board to construction of a much-needed hospitality center featuring public restrooms, handicap accessible parking, a pocket park and sidewalks near the town square.
At their regular meeting on Thursday, Nov. 4, the City of Wimberley awarded a bid for construction of the project at 109 Oak Drive, adjacent to the larger city parking lot.
As you approach the building from the new parking area, a breezeway between the two building elements provides additional covered seating and frames the view into the new pocket park.
The winning base bid went to Percheron Construction in the amount of $895,995. The Council also approved an additional $44,000 for an accessible sidewalk extending from the square and along Oak Drive to Blue Heron Run.
At the meeting, Wimberley City Administrator Mike Boese was authorized by the City Council to seek any cost-savings change orders.
“This will be both a beautiful and functional facility that we can all be proud of,” said Wimberley Mayor Gina Fulkerson. “Every aspect of the design has been well-considered to fit the character and aesthetic of Wimberley—and it will enable us to remove the portable restrooms from the square.”
Construction on the hospitality center is slated to begin in mid-December with completion expected near the end of March 2022.
Since the summer of 2020, council members have been working with Wimberley-based architecture firm, the Office of Architecture (ooA) to create a one-of-a-kind hospitality center. It includes a seven-stall restroom compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a visitor kiosk and a separate storage building with a family restroom.
The new center will also feature Dark Sky Friendly lighting and bike racks. A pocket park with landscaping and benches will highlight the grounds along with public art and a future pavilion space that can be used for outdoor community gatherings such as music, arts and crafts fairs or even a farmer’s market.

“From a design standpoint, our goal was to create a low-maintenance, long-lasting building, with the charm and appeal of the City of Wimberley,” said Dax Morton, Associate AIA, ooA Project Designer.

“As a local architectural firm, ooA feels very fortunate to be part of the team providing this much-needed amenity to our beautiful and unique downtown area,” said Neel Morton, AIA, ooA Project Architect.

As funds become available, the City will release a separate bid for grading the adjacent city parking lot with delineated parking spaces and landscaping buffers.

“This facility has been thoughtfully conceived with Wimberley’s values in mind, from the rainwater collection system to the amount of permeable cover to the landscaping,” said Mayor Pro Tem Rebecca Minnick. “We expect this to be an important landing spot for tourists and residents alike when they experience our town, so it was important for us to take a detailed approach.” 

According to Boese, funds for the project are being allocated from various budget sources, including the remainder of tax note funds from the purchase of the property on Oak Drive. In addition, the City will utilize funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and a generous $50,000 donation from Sonora Bank. The City will also fund the visitor information area component of the project from the hotel occupancy tax.

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