ACC Highland Building 4000 is open: Hear from your colleagues

ACC Highland is transforming into a regional center for workforce training and lifelong learning. Building 4000 is now open for students.

Faculty set up equipment in preparation for the start of classes.

“It’s been really exciting to move,” says Roberta Weston, ACC art history professor. “The move of the Art Department was a monumental task due to the number of studios, equipment, and tools. We met the challenge. Everyone worked well together to ensure everything was set up. We are ready to teach classes in this wonderful new space.”

Phase 2 at ACC Highland expands ACC’s innovative learning environment with centers designed to accelerate pathways to high-demand careers. It adds flexible, advanced facilities for the cutting-edge career-technical education and hands-on experience needed for today’s jobs. The improved space also features wide pathways and natural lighting.

ACC Art Department classes inside the newly opened Building 4000, on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.

“For students to walk into such a spacious, light-filled environment, it will inspire creativity. Hopefully, they gain inspiration,” says Weston.

“One of the best parts about this space is that the studios are close together,” says Brent Baggett, ACC art professor.

Studios include dance, drawing, painting, ceramics, and more.

“Hopefully, this turns into a collaborative environment with great energy. Also, with an additional studio, we are now able to teach simultaneously, which we were not able to do in the past,” he says.

“The move from Riverside Campus to this campus expands our space by three times. Before, we were landlocked. We literally could not buy another piece of equipment because there was no space,” says Bill Evans, Jewelry Department chair. “Now we have more space and equipment to better suit the students.”

Workers completing the final touches of the dance studio on Friday, September 8, 2017.

“The benefits of this space are manifold. We’ve expanded the labs and have additional machinery. Our goal is to grow classes with additional benches,” he says. “The students I’ve talked to are quite excited.”

Dwayne Bandy, instructional assistant in the Jewelry Department, agreed.

Faculty and staff move into the newly renovated Building 4000 at the Highland Mall on Friday, September 8, 2017.

“On a scale of one to ten, this is awesome! The upgraded space is larger and more comfortable,” Bandy says.

Polly Monear, senior administrative assistant to the dean of arts & digital media, says: “It’s very exciting. Our suite was designed so people would interact. Departments can see what other departments are doing and creating. This open concept will instill a feeling of all being here together.”

There are also rooms set aside for collaborative group and project work between disciplines. For example, students who produce the Creative Writing Department’s Rio Review can now gather in a common space to create the biannual arts journal.

Faculty and students begin classes in new facilities.

“It used to be difficult to find space and traditional classrooms are not the best for this process,” Monear says.

She reiterates a common theme: “The student space is amazing. It allows creative expression.”

On Thursday, September 1, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at 6101 Highland Campus Drive, ACC hosts a groundbreaking event celebrating the start of construction at ACC Highland Phase 2.

View more photos from Building 4000:

Moving in Building 4000


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