ACC celebrated the grand reopening of the Rio Grande Campus Main Building on Tuesday, October 11. More than 300 people turned out for the college’s official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The historical renovation at ACC’s Rio Grande Campus marks the final project in a series of new campus construction, expansions, and updates stemming from ACC’s 2014 General Obligation Bonds.
“This is so exciting to me to see the completion of all the projects that were included in the 2014 bond,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC chancellor. “The success of our students is about the support from our faculty, staff, and partnerships. At the Rio Grande Campus, we have fantastic partnerships, including the University of Texas at Austin with the PACE Program and Army Futures Command through the Software Factory. Access to multiple industry partners give our students the opportunity and advantage to develop the kind of skills necessary to be successful in the workforce.”
The event featured remarks from Chancellor Dr. Rhodes, ACC Board Chair Dr. Nan McRaven, elected guests U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett and Texas Representative Gina Hinojosa, and ACC student Mahyasadat Minoneshan.
“We have worked tirelessly since we passed the bonds in 2014. This is the culmination of all the projects we were able to do around the district. It shows the voters they can trust ACC to use the money wisely and provide the services we need to provide training programs for students who will stay here in Austin and create the workforce,” says Dr. McRaven.
ACC’s Rio Grande Campus is a vibrant piece of Austin history located in the heart of the city. The building opened as a junior high school in 1916 and later became Austin High School. It transitioned to an ACC college campus in 1975. Renovations began in 2017 and included strategic preservation techniques to maintain the historical exterior while providing modern finishes inside.
Congressman Doggett reflected on the importance of the building’s history and reminisced about having attended the campus when it was Austin High School.
“While we are celebrating here, what is important at ACC and what was important at Austin High is the human infrastructure. We have great teachers, faculty, and staff at ACC and all ACC campuses. They give opportunities for people to go on to higher education at UT or elsewhere, or to get certifications. We need people of all different skill levels to sustain our economy and make Austin the wonderful place that it is to live,” says Doggett.
The renovations include updated classrooms, advanced science and computer/IT labs, new faculty offices, and enhanced student support services. It is the home of the ACC & University of Texas at Austin PACE (Path to Admission through Co-Enrollment) program as well as ACC’s deaf and hard-of-hearing programs and the Army Futures Command Software Factory. The building also features the District’s 5th ACCelerator learning lab.
Mahyasadat spoke to the role this lab has had on her success as an ACC student and reflected on the journey that brought her to college. Her moving speech brought the crowd to its feet in a standing ovation. Watch the clip below.
Central Texas is invited to tour the campus in-person during a community-wide open house scheduled for spring 2023. Stay tuned for more details.
View photos from the event in the Flickr slideshow below and share your Rio Grande stories in the comments section.