Austin: UT System Regents Approve $29M for Blanton Museum of Art Complex Upgrades
Feature Photo (above): Students and visitors enjoying the outdoors on the grounds of the Blanton Museum of Art compound at University of Texas-Austin. Image: Google Streets.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Austin (Travis County) — The University of Texas System Board of Regents approved the allocation of $29 million to implement upgrades in the master plan for the Blanton Museum of Art three-building complex.
The existing grounds within the dotted line (see graphic) will be renovated to establish a more pedestrian friendly environment with a new clear walking path connecting the adjacent parking garage to the front door of the museum main building and the satellite Smith and Ellsworth Kelly buildings.
Site plan of the BMA master plan. Courtesy: UT System.
The renovation will also create an outdoor area better suited to showcase art in the buildings and serve as space for performances and programming. Other needs being addressed include the installation of more shade elements and the construction of an off-street drop-off area; this is to eliminate the unsafe reliance put upon Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, where school buses and other vehicles coming to the complex parallel park.
The pedestrian traffic plan is also intended to improve the sense of cohesion between the buildings and the compound’s interface with the new speedway mall to the north; as well as the Bullock Texas State History Museum and new Capitol Mall–now under construction to the south.
The project will include façade updates to the entrances of the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art (BMA) and the Blanton Museum Smith Building (BMS). There are minor interior renovations as well to the BMA entrance and the BMS entry to the cafe area and portions of BMS’s second and third floors.
UT-Austin will be using a Construction Manager at Risk method to bring the project to completion.
The gross square footage of the interior areas targeted for renovation total 9,111 SF.
The greater share of the budget, $26 million, is a gift from the Moody Foundation. The project costs break down as follows:
$3,999,000 for building construction improvements
$9,283,000 for site development
$1,720,000 for architectural design services
$504,000 for furniture and movable equipment$630,000 for project management fees
$300,000 for institutionally managed work
$12,564,000 for project contingency, and other costs
The Board of Regents are scheduled to approve design development later this month, and to give the notice to proceed to construction by October 2020.
DPR Construction Inc. is the CMAR general contractor working with ArchiTexas. VBX tracked this project as Project ID 2019-5732.
Substantial completion is anticipated by Nov. 2021.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.