BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) - Austin Community College is growing, expanding to the east. ACC held its groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning for its new campus in Elgin.
"This is a celebration for the people of Elgin," said Dr. Barbara Mink, chair of the ACC Board of Trustees. "It is their vision and passion for increased access to higher education that enables this campus to be built. We congratulate them and look forward to continuing to grow our relationship."
The 98-acre campus site is located at State Highway 290 and County Line Road . The first full-service college campus in Elgin, ACC Elgin Campus is scheduled to open in August 2013.
Elgin ISD residents chose to join the ACC District last fall, with 61 percent voting for annexation.
"The partnership between Elgin and ACC is an investment in the future of this community and our region as a whole," says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. "Access to higher education opens so many doors to opportunity, and we are honored to play a role in helping students and families achieve their goals."
ACC enrollment from Elgin has increased 58 percent in the year since annexation, and Elgin residents already have convenient access to ACC classes through the Elgin Center, which opened earlier this year at 902 W. Second St.
Elgin ISD residents receive expanded access to higher education and the low in-district tuition rate ($57 per credit hour in spring 2012) in exchange for paying the ACC property tax, currently set at $0.0948 (9.48 cents) per $100 valuation; there is a standard $5,000 homestead exemption, and seniors and homeowners with disabilities receive a total $120,000 exemption. Tax revenue from Elgin residents will fund construction of the campus.
The first phase of ACC Elgin Campus is a three-story structure with approximately 65,000 square feet of space and capacity for 1,500 students. The building will includ:
- student services (welcome center, admissions and records, financial aid, advising and counseling, and disability services)
- library and media center
- a Student Life office
- student commons area
The campus will offer transferable general education classes as well as workforce training in areas such as agriculture (veterinary technician, animal science, environmental science, and land management) and visual communication/digital media. Elgin residents and business leaders will be part of the campus advisory committee.
"ACC brings exciting educational opportunities to Elgin and will encourage more economic growth throughout the area. ACC and Elgin are ahead of the curve with their emphasis on sustainable development and sustainable agriculture," says Elgin Mayor Marc Holm. "We look forward to working with ACC as part of the fabric of regional growth in the Austin metro."
Parking for the groundbreaking is available at the Elgin ISD stadium lot, accessible from Elgin High School (14000 County Line Road). Shuttles will take people to the site from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. and return attendees to their vehicles from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Registration for spring 2012 classes is available for all students. The spring schedule for the Elgin Center is accessible at austincc.edu/elgin . The webpage includes campus construction updates.
ACC Elgin is one of two campuses currently in development, with the college finalizing plans for a full-service campus in Hays CISD.
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