ACC-Elgin expansion funding 2 new buildings

Elgin Courier:  ACC-Elgin expansion funding 2 new buildings

The Austin Community College Elgin campus is hosting a groundbreaking celebration on Tuesday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The campus will be breaking ground on two projects funded by ACC’s 2014 bond program that will help grow the Sustainable Agriculture and Entrepreneurship and Veterinary Technology programs at the Elgin campus.

The Phase II project includes an 18,500 sq. ft. veterinary technology academic building and an 11,000 sq. ft. sustainable agriculture outbuilding. The project budget is $13.2 million and O’Connell Robertson is the architect.

Career-technical programs are regulated by state, federal, and accrediting organizations, so facilities must meet specific standards. These include the appropriate placement of a planned organic farm, which will include a crop rotation field on tillable land, a grazing pasture, an orchard, and a work and teaching facility near the recently-constructed greenhouse and teaching pavilion. The Veterinary Tech program’s facility design and placement adheres to standards for boarding and treating animals ranging from small pets to horses and cattle.

Tentative plans for the Vet Tech Program include a surgical suite with two to three surgery tables, treatment areas, a radiology room, and feline and canine wards. Outdoor needs include pasture space for large animals such as cattle and horses, feed storage areas, and a cattle chute. The program anticipates instructional capacity for 48 first- and second-year students.

Proposed plans for a Sustainable Agriculture campus farm include five to 10 acres for rotational crop space and an orchard, 10 acres for pasture, a crop washing/packing area, climate-controlled food storage areas, and an industrial kitchen. The farm is to be certified organic, which impacts site planning for water runoff, buffer zones, wildlife habitat, and soil management. The architects will ensure facilities for both programs meet government and accreditation regulations. The ACC-Elgin campus is located at 1501 Hwy. 290 in Elgin.

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