ACC celebrates the groundbreaking of the UFCU Pavilion

UFCU Pavilion groundbreaking ceremony

Work is underway for a new gathering space in Austin. More than 100 people turned out to celebrate the groundbreaking for the UFCU Pavilion at the Austin Community College District (ACC) Highland Campus Monday, March 27.

The UFCU Pavilion is named in honor of the $5 million donation the University Federal Credit Union presented to ACC in 2022. All the funds will directly benefit student scholarships. 

“We know paying for college is one of the biggest hurdles students face. With UFCU’s support, we’re taking some of that burden away and helping students stay on track and achieve their dreams,” says ACC Chancellor, Dr. Richard Rhodes.   

“ACC and UFCU share the same mission. We overlap in so many ways. We are both in the business of helping people,” Michael Crowl, UFCU CEO. “Life happens to people. We both want that to not stop someone from advancing their career. Giving people the tools they need, especially the financial education programs, so they can truly have financial health.”

“College can be expensive. Scholarships are given to you to help pay for other things in life, such as rent, which I had to pay for, and food, which can add up when you are trying to go to school and can’t work as much,” says Wolfgang Burst, ACC student and scholarship recipient.

The UFCU Pavilion serves as the focal point of the St. John Encampment Commons Park. The new space will offer students and the community a place to gather to learn, relax, and convene, and the pavilion will provide an event and performance venue. 

The park is named in recognition of the historic St. John’s Orphan Home, an African American school that once stood in the early 1900s.

“Together, the new park and pavilion represent a celebration of the land that we stand on and the history that started here with education. We are bringing it back to education,” says Rhodes. 

“When designing the pavilion, we were inspired by the tent structures of encampments. We wanted to have it resonate with all the tent structures of the encampment,” says Michael Hagens, Agenda Architecture Principal. “The more spaces we have to gather as a community is really important. In the case of this development where you have private development and ACC plus the residences, this is a great space to mix the pot for the Austin Community.”

Both the UFCU Pavilion and St. John Encampment Commons spaces are expected to open in summer 2023. A celebration will be planned as part of the college’s 50th anniversary. More details to come.

Click here to see images from the groundbreaking and of the new space.

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