Highland Update: Renovation Plans Proceed Following Funding Approval

ACC’s Board of Trustees has approved the issuance of $75 million in revenue bonds to finance the first phase of the Highland property redevelopment.

In addition to renovating 200,000 square feet of space — equivalent in size to the college’s Round Rock Campus — bond proceeds will pay for infrastructure improvements on the 80-acre site and other costs. The college will break ground on the project in spring. It plans to open the facility in fall 2014.

“Everyone in the ACC community has been eagerly awaiting this project,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “With this step, we will begin seeing concrete progress in a project that has important implications for our Strategic Plan and for the vitality of this area.”

The first phase of the project involves refurbishing the former J.C. Penney space to house state-of-the art instructional and support areas, notably ACC’s math emporium. A principal component of ACC’s Quality Enhancement Plan, the math emporium will feature 500 computer stations in an open-lab setting where students taking developmental math courses can benefit from computer-assisted instruction and help from staff tutors.

ACC began purchasing the Highland property in 2010. Among the site’s advantages are its central location and access to major roadways and public transit stations. The new facility, which will accommodate up to 6,200 students, will alleviate crowding at other campuses and make it easier for the college to renovate those locations over time.

ACC is evaluating options for future uses of the former Dillard’s, Macy’s, and mall stores. The college will continue to work with RedLeaf Properties on a master plan for the entire Highland site. Early plans include residential and commercial buildings with parking garages. Development on the mixed-use portion of the site is scheduled to begin after spring 2014. Existing retail operations will continue during renovations.

Go to austincc.edu/highland for more details and history about the Highland project and to keep up-to-date on the latest developments.

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