ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The Old Stage Coach Inn which sits off Ranch to Market 620 in Round Rock has been around since 1853, before Round Rock even got its name.
“It’s a huge contributing factor to the Chisolm Trail in the early growth of the city, which was originally called the Town of Brushy,” explains Brad Wiseman, director of Planning and Development Services for Round Rock
But now the Old Stage Coach Inn needs a new home. The city needs space to expand RM 620, so it wants to move the structure instead of tearing it down. The city is recommending spending $758,000 to move the Inn to Chisholm Trail Park. That is about $140,000 more than the cheaper option, which would only move the structure back by about 50 feet.
“It’s not very well visible from the new road improvement on 620, and we don’t feel there’s a lot of community value in keeping it in that area.” Wiseman says it makes more sense to move the Old Stage Coach Inn to the park where there are other historical markers and the Round Rock itself, right across the street.
Mayor Pro Tem Craig Morgan supports the city’s effort to retain its history, but says he is hesitant of the price tag. “The bottom line, it sounds very expensive and it is real money, but sometimes when you’re sitting in this seat, you don’t want to be the council that got rid of Round Rock’s history,” explains Morgan.
Morgan says the Round Rock City Council will look at all its options to try to save taxpayers. He suggests possibly partnering with a private entity to help fund the relocation, or using money from the hotel tax, which is funded by visitors.
The city council meets Thursday night to hear details of the feasibility study to relocate the Inn. The study cost the city $26,000.
The Old Stage Coach Inn lost its state historical status about 10 years ago, after the then-tenant made renovations to the roof and windows without getting it approved by the state. The city says it can still try to regain its state historical status.
The plan to improve RM 620 includes building a bridge over the railroad tracks near the Stage Coach Inn, to help improve traffic flow on a growing road. In 2010, TxDOT traffic counts showed 38,000 vehicles passed through that stretch of 620. When TxDOT counted again in 2015, they found the number rose to nearly 42,000 vehicles, a nearly 10 percent increase.