ACC Board of Trustees September 18 Recap

The Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees met for its regular meeting on Monday, September 18. Highlights include approval of the property tax rate and ACC Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes’ final board meeting.

Below are highlights from the meeting.

Dr. Richard Rhodes’ Final Remarks to the Board

This board meeting marked the final meeting for ACC Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes. Dr. Rhodes will say farewell to ACC after 12 years of service at the end of September.

During his final remarks to the board, Dr. Rhodes celebrated ACC’s 50th anniversary events, including the Riverbat Homecoming Fest at ACC Highland Campus on Saturday, September 23. He also discussed the soft opening of the new Student Care Center, which provided food to students and employees in need. 

Dr. Rhodes also thanked the board, faculty and staff, students, partners, and the community for their support during his time at ACC. He spoke about looking forward to the next phase in his life and wished the best of luck to the college’s new chancellor, Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart.

2023-24 Property Tax Rate

Following a special meeting to allow public feedback on the 2023-24 property tax rate, the Board of Trustees approved the new rate. The tax rate of $0.0986 (09.86 cents) per $100 valuation consists of $0.0854 for Maintenance and Operation and $0.0132 for Debt Service. The annual amount of taxes imposed on an average home within the ACC district valued at $504,461 is $497 for the year.

Naming ACC Highland ACCelerator After ACC Dr. Richard Rhodes

The board unanimously approved naming the ACCelerator at the ACC Highland Campus as the Dr.Richard M. Rhodes ACCelerator. Dr. Rhodes is the longest-serving Chancellor in ACC history. Under his vision, the college opened its first ACCelerator at the Highland Campus in August 2014. The college now has ACCelerators at multiple campuses, including Rio Grande, Round Rock, and San Gabriel. 

The ACC Foundation also will donate $50,000 to create the Dr. Richard M. Rhodes Endowed Scholarship fund for ACC students.

Construction of KAZI Radio Station

Trustees approved allowing the administration to negotiate and execute a contract for construction and finish-out services for KAZI Radio Station at ACC Highland Campus, Building 3000. Austin’s oldest community radio station is the listener-supported, commercial-free, nonprofit community radio station. KAZI will partner with ACC. The space will be near ACC’s Radio, Television, and Film programs. The partnership will include paid internships, job training, and shared spaces. 

Round Rock Early College High School Expansion

The board voted to allow the ACC administration to move forward to execute an interlocal agreement and ground lease with Round Rock ISD to construct the Round Rock Early College High School. The approval will allow Round Rock ISD to construct a permanent building on campus. ACC will contribute $6 million for the construction cost, while Round Rock ISD will make annual ground lease payments totaling $6 million plus interest. 

The portable site of the current Round Rock ECHS will be used to expand the Health Science building as part of the 2022 General Obligation Bond.

Nursing Classroom Renovation at Highland Campus

The Board of Trustees approved the administration of negotiating and executing a contract

for renovating a nursing classroom at Highland Campus, Building 2000. The college will use the 2021 Maintenance Tax Bond funding to replace the space previously located at Seton’s Clinical Education Center after it closed earlier this year. The space near the Health Science Simulation Center will hold up to 40 students. 

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