Round Rock approves funding to remodel former library building

Round Rock City Council voted unanimously Thursday, Sept. 28, to approve the final funding required for the renovation of the former home of the Round Rock Public Library at 216 E. Main Street.

The 44,000-square-foot building, which will maintain its designation as the Griffith Building, will include the Round Rock Visitors Center and a two-story Arts and Culture gallery on the first floor, and the Round Rock Chamber on the second floor. The north side of the building will provide additional flex space for City operations.

“The Chamber has been looking for a new home for many years, so the thought of this coming to fruition in the near term is very exciting for us,” said Jordan Robinson, Round Rock Chamber President and CEO. “As the City’s lead on economic development, we serve as the front door community to businesses and newcomers. We’re thrilled to have a modern office space that truly reflects Round Rock. This building will fit our needs for class A modern space today and for our future growth.”

In addition to a remodel of the building, the City anticipates relocating the Palm House, which currently houses the Round Rock Chamber on Main Street, to the Old Settlers Association near its original home along Palm Valley Boulevard. The space provided by the move will allow the City to build a paseo, or walkway, that connects Prete Plaza and the courtyard for the recently-opened Round Rock Public Library, which is adjacent to a new 289-space parking garage. 

The total cost of the project is $19.5 million. Approximately $10.7 million in Type B sales tax revenues were approved Thursday evening by Council and the Round Rock Transportation and Economic Development Corporation (Type B) to fund the paseo and Chamber portions of the project. Approximately $4.6 million in hotel occupancy tax revenues, which are paid by visitors staying in Round Rock hotels, will fund the renovation of the art gallery and visitors center, as well as the relocation of the Palm House. Another $4.2 million in General Self Finance Construction funding approved in the FY23-24 budget will cover the remaining costs of the project.

Round Rock City Council voted unanimously in October 2022 to approve an architectural services agreement with McKinney York Architects, which has extensive experience in designing remodels of public buildings and gathering spaces. The City selected Braun & Butler Construction to oversee construction of the project.

The Palm House is expected to be relocated by January 2024, with construction on the remodel beginning in spring 2024. The project is expected to be completed near the end of summer 2025.

Griffith Building/Paseo Renderings

A rendering of the facade of Griffith Building as seen from Main Street, near Prete Plaza
Facade of Griffith Building as seen from Main Street, near Prete Plaza
A rendering of the Paseo/walkway from Liberty Ave. to Main St.
Paseo/walkway from Liberty Ave. to Main St.

Project Layout

An aerial shot of Downtown Round Rock that shows location markers for the new Round Rock Public Library, its new  289-space parking garage, the location of the future paseo and the Griffith Building that served as the old library.
Click to enlarge
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