Partnership was the primary theme when state and community leaders joined the Austin Community College District (ACC) Tuesday, October 11, at the groundbreaking celebration of Elgin Campus Phase II.
“We’re here because of your vision, your work to join the ACC District and because of the voter’s support (to expand) learning and opportunities right here in Elgin and throughout the district,” Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO, told the Elgin audience. “Your partnership is critical to our success.”
Scheduled to open spring 2018, the campus expansion includes an 18,500-square-foot academic building with teaching spaces, a surgical clinic and small animal wards for the college’s veterinary technology program, and a processing kitchen and market to support the college’s sustainable agriculture entrepreneurship program. The college also is building an 11,000-square-foot outbuilding that will house a tractor maintenance workshop and space for washing and handling crops. It will include covered pens for large animals, treatment stocks and a cattle chute, and areas to store hay, animal feed, and farm implements.
“ACC looks for partnerships and ways to reach out. You hear about it all the time. This is another milestone in Elgin and another great one,” said Sen. Kirk Watson.
Elgin ISD Superintendent Dr. Jodi Duron recognized the expanded educational access the campus has provided since it opened in 2013.
“Four years ago we had not one student taking a dual credit course in our high school,” Dr. Duron said. “Today we have over 160 students in the pipeline for dual credit. That is because of this partnership and because of this campus.”
The celebration included performances by the Neidig Elementary School Choir and the Texas Lost Pines Riding Club. The Elgin High School Future Farmers of America and the Bastrop County Animal Shelter also participated. Additional speakers included State Rep. Celia Israel, State Rep. John Cyrier’s office, ACC Board Chair Dr. Vic Villarreal, and Elgin Mayor Chris Cannon.
ACC Veterinary Technology student Ashley Munoz expressed gratitude to the college and its vet tech faculty and staff, and said the new facilities will be an improvement for students who currently must travel around the region for laboratory practice.
“With state-of-the-art necessities on-site, prospective students will doubtlessly be drawn to join ACC’s ranks,” she said. “Vet techs are sometimes called the hands and heart of a veterinary hospital. Our heart is what brought us to you. Thank you for giving us our hands.”
The Elgin Campus expansion is one of several ongoing voter-approved capital improvement projects. Visit austincc.edu/bond for information about the campus and construction updates.
See photos of the event below.
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