The Waller Creek Boathouse, 74 Trinity St., is scheduled to hold its grand opening celebration Oct. 28 with a variety of activities for residents.
“[The boathouse] was built to be a community boathouse, and what that means to us and the parks department is it is a facility that is open to everybody,” said Camille Jobe, president of the Austin Rowing Club, which is managing the boathouse.
The grand opening celebration, which runs from 10 a.m-4 p.m., will include rowing, kayaking, standup paddling, yoga, children's activities and live music.
Jobe said part of the agreement when the rowing club took over management of the boathouse from the City of Austin was to highlight ways to bring people to Lady Bird Lake other than rowing.
“There's all kinds of things for all kinds of bodies, for wherever you are in life,” she said. “There's just a really well-rounded offering now.”
The City of Austin built the boathouse as part of the Waller Creek Tunnel project. Other activities the boathouse will accommodate are bike rentals and tours as well as fitness classes.
“Mostly, it's just a fun day for everybody to come down and enjoy the boathouse,” Jobe said.
The new 10,800-square-foot Waller Creek Boathouse features an observation deck, public restrooms, locker rooms and space for a future waterside cafe along with extensive boat storage. The boathouse also is available to rent for events.
The boathouse cost about $3.5 million, and the ARC began moving into the space around March.
On Oct. 27, to preface the grand opening, the Head of the Colorado Regatta is being held. The regatta is a 5,000-meter race in which rowers race against the clock to complete the course in the shortest amount of time in their age group, boat class and ability.
Jobe said she loves rowing because it requires strength and power, but also grace and balance to be an effective rower.
“It is a yin and yang sport,” she said.
The Austin Rowing Club is a nonprofit focused on promoting the sport of rowing in Austin by offering low- to no-cost rowing programs for junior and adult rowers. The club also hosts nationally recognized rowing events at Lady Bird Lake, including the Head of the Colorado race, the Texas Rowing Championships and the Heart of Texas Regatta.