More than 100 years after the Rio Grande Campus first opened its doors, Austin Community College broke ground Thursday, August 10, on state-of-the-art renovations and historical preservation to the main building.
“We’re preserving the history and the respect this campus has in our community as an institution for learning. At the same time, we’re bringing it into the 21st century,” Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO, told the approximately 250 guests. “We’re creating a vibrant atmosphere for students to learn and excel in new ways.”
Scheduled to reopen 2019, Rio Grande Campus will be a home campus to ACC’s Deaf community, offering expanded programs and services. The campus also will feature a three-story ACCelerator, advanced classrooms, and innovative labs.
Rio Grande Campus first served as a junior high school at the Austin Independent School District, then as the Austin ISD High School before becoming an ACC campus in 1975. The renovations will honor its rich history and will preserve the historic campus façade.
“It’s good that this great and historical facility will have new life breathed into it,” said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett who was a student at the campus when it was Austin High School. “I’m looking forward to how we can build on the great foundation that’s here.”
The groundbreaking included a proclamation from Austin Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, declaring August 10, 2017, as ACC Rio Grande Campus Groundbreaking Day. In addition to Doggett, speakers included Austin ISD Associate Superintendent Craig Shapiro, ACC Board Chair Dr. Barbara Mink, and ACC student Ciara Paredes.
The Rio Grande Campus is one of several ongoing voter-approved capital improvement projects. Visit austincc.edu/vision for more information about the campus and construction updates.
See photos of the event below.
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