Construction is due to start this month on an all-new Great Hills Country Club in Northwest Austin, which will replace the club that went up in the mid-1970s.
The new, $12 million complex will consist of a two-story, 27,000 square foot clubhouse; a one-story community recreation building with 4,500 square feet; and a pool pavilion, plus new parking lots and other improvements. The new club is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2019.
The existing clubhouse and administration building cover about 11,000 square feet.
The country club, at 5914 Lost Horizon Drive in the Great Hills neighborhood, has several thousand members and is a popular spot for golf, tennis, swimming, dining and other community activities throughout the year.
Great Hills County Club members voted in March 2016 to approve the construction of a new complex. The project received a site plan permit from the city of Austin on Jan. 12.
McKinney York is the architecture firm for the project, and Club Design Associates is the general contractor.
Executives with Garrett-Ihnen Civil Engineers said they have finalized plans to overcome the logistical and engineering challenges of building an entirely new country club while the existing one remains open during construction.
“There hasn’t been a golf course renovation and clubhouse reconstruction of this magnitude in Austin in the past several decades, or maybe ever, because most sites are completely closed during construction, said Steve Ihnen, president of Garrett-Ihnen. “But we’ve developed a multi-stage plan that will allow the current facility to remain operational with minimal interruption while we do our work.”
One challenge, Ihnen said, was figuring out how to relocate all of the existing utilities, which run beneath the site of the future building and must supply the old clubhouse during construction.
“Water, wastewater, electricity, gas, telephone, and Internet — everything has to be moved,” Ihnen said. “So we’ve planned a new central hub for utilities between the old building and the new building.” The hub will serve the old building initially, and ultimately, the new one. Service will be shut off to the old building when it’s time to demolish it, he said.
Larry Harper, general manager of Great Hills Country Club, said: “We have a challenging project, no doubt about it…But our project finally is moving forward because we hired the right engineers who could figure out a plan that would allow us to stay open, and get it all permitted with the city.”