Auditorium Shores and Butler Park

A Decade in the Making

EEA worked with TBG Partners and the Austin Parks Department on a variety of projects around Auditorium Shores, including the MEP design of Butler Park and its splash pad, electrical system analysis for the Parmer Events Center next door to the park, and the MEP designs for the restrooms, drinking stations, and site lighting along the river bank at Auditorium Shores. EEA also replaced the events power distribution system at Auditorium Shores, a project with an interesting history. Most recently, EEA has again teamed with TBG partners for the Alliance Children’s Garden at Butler Park.

Bad Assumptions Lead To Bad Designs

When EEA and the Austin Parks Department tackled the events lawn and adjacent parking lot in 2013, the project uncovered decades of hastily installed electrical work that had been thrown together to serve Aqua Fest. Because the event power distribution had been in use at the start of the project with no reported issues or complaints by the event companies, it was assumed to be functional and code compliant. During construction, we learned otherwise. Problem after problem arose as the work progressed. Virtually every element of the electrical distribution equipment that was hidden below the ground or inside inaccessible vaults had been installed in a dangerous and code deficient way or was damaged from years of hard use.

In mounting frustration, the team decided to halt work and conduct an exhausting documentation effort of the quantity, type, and condition of every component of the haphazard underground events power system. Taking less than a week and spending a fraction of what the issues were costing, we uncovered the remaining code issues and failed components. EEA took this information and worked with the contractor to develop a solution, and implemented the plan. The small effort and expense of the investigation averted numerous issues and expenses that would have arisen, and the park opened in time to successfully host the South by Southwest Music Festival.