A piece of Texas history and Austin County landmark will receive a new electrical system, thanks to a $22,000 community development grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $28,000 in matching contributions, will allow the Bellville Turnverein Pavilion Restoration Project to upgrade the electrical system at the Bellville Turnverein Pavilion, Texas’ first round dance hall. The restoration group plans to modernize the pavilion while still maintaining the hall’s historic charm.
“Without the LCRA grant, the electrical upgrades will be in jeopardy, which will severely limit the scope of the overall restoration and the anticipated increased utilization and economic impact to the community,” said Tom Barron, president of the Bellville Turnverein Pavilion Restoration Project.
Built in 1897 by German immigrants, the Turnverein Pavilion is owned by the City of Bellville and has been a vital center of activity in town for more than 120 years. The building’s present condition, and the fact it is not air conditioned, limits use to cooler months when the hall is heated by dangerous, outdated gas heaters.
The grant will bring the current electrical system up to code and eliminate fire hazards in the existing wiring. The new electrical system will accommodate the professional sound systems of bands and DJs, making it easier to host events there. It also will pave the way for future improvements, including a modern HVAC system, energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Since the hall is a Texas historical marker, all work will be done under the approval of the Texas Historical Commission.
“We believe the restored Turnverein Pavilion will once again be the community's busiest gathering place for meetings, dances, weddings and special events,” Barron said. “It will serve as one of the anchors for the upcoming revitalization of downtown Bellville's Main Street, and help spur new jobs, businesses and economic activity.”
The community grant is one of a number of grants recently awarded through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. The program provides economic development and community assistance grants to cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional development councils and other nonprofit organizations in LCRA’s wholesale electric and water service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of Bellville is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted Jan. 1-31, 2019. More information is available at
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering access to nature at more than 40 parks, recreation areas and river access sites along the Texas Colorado River, from the Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to enhancing the lives of Texans through water stewardship, energy and community services. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934. For more information, visit