For many people who enjoy the cool waters of Barton Springs, getting in and getting out are pool rituals many Austinites take for granted.
But for Brian Welch, a Travis County resident living with cerebral palsy, getting up the hill on the south side of the pool can be a painful experience.
“My feet are kind of tender so when the grass dries out, it’s a little tough on my feet,” Welch said.
Despite any difficulties, Welch has enjoyed Austin’s favorite swimming hole since 1988.
"There is a ramp on the other side for wheel chairs, but nothing on this side," he said.
On Thursday, City Council approved $3 million in renovations for the pool. The upgrades include a pathway on the south side as well as the burying of electrical and phone lines. Parking space will also be added to the often-packed south terrace.
"It's a way to prepare for the future and allow greater access to the south side," Tom Nelson said. “The attendance here is gradually increasing so more people want to use the facilities so we have to look at the infrastructure as well."
Other plans include a landscape tree-court area at the front entrance, and the backside dirt parking lot will be paved, complete with handicapped-accessible parking.