ACC Highland campus enters phase two

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin’s old Highland Mall is going from shopping center to learning center, with the second phase of Austin Community College’s campus getting underway Thursday.

Dozens of people attended the groundbreaking Thursday for the latest additions to ACC’s new Highland Campus. In all, the new space will be 415,000 square feet and be home to a student-run restaurant, a “school to business incubator” and more than a dozen ACC programs.

“It’s work, live, play, but most importantly learn — get the trades necessary, the skills necessary to be successful,” said ACC President Richard Rhodes.

The campus will serve about 5,000 students when it opens in 2019 or early 2020. It is funded by part of a 2014 bond that also provides money for five other projects: an ACC Rio Grande campus renovation, a new campus in San Gabriel, a new building in Round Rock and Elgin and a new facility for first responders at the Hays campus.

ACC purchased the mall back in 2010, and opened a renovated space in the old JCPenney location to 4,000 students in 2014. The mall officially shut down in 2015 to prepare for phase two of the Highland campus.

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